To the Editor:

Most of our attention is currently focused on the COVID-19 crisis in the U.S. and in our own communities. This makes sense — it’s scary to see that cases have been on the rise in Ontario County, for example, as a resident of that county. However, as a pandemic, COVID-19 has had a serious impact around the world. Not only has it strained health care systems globally, but it has also done much to erase the past few years’ progress in global poverty reduction.

According to The Borgen Project, a nonprofit focused on global poverty eradication, COVID-19 could push another 500 million people into poverty by the end of 2020 and potentially leave an additional 265 million people starving worldwide. More extreme estimates suggest that over half of the world could be left in poverty in the wake of the devastating pandemic.

Fortunately, the U.S. government has the power to help in this situation. $20 billion has been proposed to be added to the International Affairs Budget (IAB) to support life-saving health and nutrition programs abroad. I urge Rep. Tom Reed to support this. Doing so will not only assist people around the world living in poverty but will also protect the safety and security of all Americans.

OLIVIA ROWLAND

Geneva

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