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The next U.S. president will not be elected because of foreign policy. And she or he certainly will not get to the White House on the strength of election promises about global development. For some candidates, the less time talking about poor people overseas the better – and even better if the U.S. government spends less money on them.
Yet, candidates who take this view miss two important truths. First, development is not just about foreign aid – which makes up a tiny and decreasing fraction of how the world pays for development. Second, if we help countries build strong and inclusive economies, then we are also helping to build prosperous, democratic, and stable societies. That’s the whole point of foreign policy. And that’s why global development matters for the 2016 election cycle.