Invest to fight the pandemic on global scale
In the past few months, our lives have transformed enormously. From quarantines and social distancing to working from home and online school, wearing masks whenever we go out in public, and worrying about the health and safety of ourselves and those around us, we have all seen how dangerous the coronavirus can be to our community. However, what we may not realize is how it can be even more devastating for low-income countries.
There are over 8,000 coronavirus cases in Lake County, and almost seven million worldwide. Global deaths from COVID-19 have surpassed 400,000. But, countries in Africa, which only account for 16 percent of the world population, carry 23 percent of the global disease burden. Additionally, the continent only accounts for 1 percent of global health expenditure. The numbers of cases and deaths in Africa are rising quickly, and risks of major interruptions to food supplies are growing. Clearly, there is a disproportionate effect of this pandemic on countries that don't have adequate access to resources.
These rising numbers abroad mean we are still at risk here at home. Currently, only 1 percent of the federal budget goes to foreign aid. And there have been proposed cuts to the International Affairs Budget that will dramatically decrease spending for the world's poor. But an investment in global health security is an investment in U.S. national security. So, we need to support increased funding to help fight this pandemic on a global scale. We need to act now.
Sanjana Jain, Borgen Project Ambassador