Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bono calls on the G20 to fight extreme poverty in Africa, even in tough times

Supporting Africa is “not just a moral imperative, but a strategic imperative” said Bono this week in Paris, reminding the French people of the importance of the upcoming G20 Summit in Cannes and the impact it could have on people living in some of the poorest parts of the planet. The co-founder of ONE was in France for two days last week working to raise awareness about the issues at the upcoming Summit that will no doubt have significant implications for the continent of Africa as a whole.
While underlining the severity of the current economic crisis, Bono made the case that even in these difficult times, investing in effective programs that are saving millions of lives is not just the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do in an increasingly globalized world.
He highlighted the importance of the French government continuing its support for effective programs that are fighting extreme poverty in Africa and crises such as the current famine in Somalia, saying, “It is not normal to have a famine …We should be able to prevent a drought from systematically becoming a famine.”
The French have been leaders in the fight against HIV/AIDS as seen by their continued support of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, and they are in a unique position to forge stronger links with Africa in the future as a trading and economic partner. And aid is making a difference: 4 million Africans have benefited from AIDS treatment since 2002.
When asked about his own political influence with heads of state during an interview with the French TV show “Le Grand Journal” on Canal+, Bono stressed that much of the power comes from his audience, many of whom are voting age, including U2 fans, and ONE campaigners. “It’s not me the politicians fear, it’s the audience,” he said, urging individuals to mobilize and keep pressure on their governments to ensure that the world’s poorest are not forgotten, even in these tough times.
At the upcoming G20 in Cannes, ONE will be calling upon global leaders to support innovative finance mechanisms for development, to prevent future food crises by smart investments in agriculture and to take concrete actions in order to improve infrastructure in Africa. Please add your voice to our petition and ensure that world leaders break the cycle of famine.

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