With so many national problems to focus on, it can become easy to turn a blind eye to how an individual nation’s actions can have effects on those abroad (both positive and negative). However, as we are operating in an increasingly globalized system of politics, it is absolutely essential to consider how national policies and decisions can have an impact on other countries. Here are a couple of the moral implications that America’s activity is holding over just one overseas nation: Uganda. This country in East Africa is seeing changes to its citizens’ well being caused by the actions of Americans in various states.
Cuts to International Family Planning
Planned cuts to US funding for family planning could pose a serious threat to the health and well-being of endless individuals in Uganda. You may wonder how cuts to American health care systems could possibly affect people so far away. However, it is essential to understand that national actions can have an international knock on effect. The services of Uganda’s biggest providers of family planning health care (whose services include cancer screening and antenatal care) are under threat following President Trump’s reintroduction of the Mexico City policy. This policy cuts off American funding to any organization that perform work that can be linked to voluntary abortion. As family planning clinics often offer this service, they face significant danger of facing closure due to the enforced lack of funding. This could prove disastrous in a country where the average woman will give birth to five children in her lifetime and an average mortality rate of over 300 children for every 100,000 births.
National Endowment for Democracy (NED)
Some Americans’ activity, however, is having profoundly positive effects on Uganda. Take the National Endowment for Democracy and their work as a brilliant example of how Americans are working their hardest to help those overseas. Since Uganda gained political independence from Britain, exchanges of power have often been problematic. While democratic systems are meant to ensure that every individual has the opportunity to participate freely in politics, elections have often been manipulated and fuelled by politicians’ self-interest, as opposed to a wish to serve the needs of the majority. The NED, however, is a private and non-profit organization which serves to promote the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world. They make around 1000 grants each year to over 90 different countries. This helps to endorse freedom of information, helps people to strengthen political institutions, offers civic education and promotes democratic ideas and values, to name just a few projects so far.
In short, it is absolutely essential that people survey the political effects of their decisions. This is entailed in how they vote, the policies they support and the private charitable organizations that they decide to lend their time, effort and cash to. The lives, happiness, and well-being of those overseas are equally as important as that of individuals closer to home. So it is important that as a privileged nation, the USA takes responsibility for the implications its actions have on others, including those far from its shores.