I agree with the need to foster civic responsibility, especially when it comes to global issues. But to go back to Alanna’s point, our first priority should be ensuring that the United States spends scarce resources in the most effective and efficient manner.
Efforts underway to overhaul the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act present an opportunity to advance human rights and strengthen U.S. leadership as a global collaborator. A critical step needed is prioritizing the wellbeing, rights, and empowerment of women and young people who remain at risk of poverty, illness and violence, by moving away from siloed, thematic approaches to health (i.e. HIV/AIDS, family planning, maternal health, gender equality), to a comprehensive, and more cost effective, sexual and reproductive health and rights approach that addresses individual lives holistically and according to local realities.
Every individual needs a range of services and information to protect him/herself and live healthy and happy lives. Local NGOs and public health experts on the ground must be able to determine the best programming for their own communities. For too long, local organizations were constricted by mandates from Washington. U.S. foreign assistance can be restructured to better empower local communities and save many lives in the process.