Faith, Hope and... Politics

2 Jun 2004
Charity will not solve the problems of African poverty, was the message Bono delivered to EU development ministers in Dublin yesterday.



And in an open letter to UK PM Tony Blair and Chancellor Gordon Brown, Bono has joined a group of celebrities demanding an increase in aid to the poorest countries.



Actors Jude Law and Helen Mirren were among more than 20 stars to sign the letter, which lists the problems faced by the world's poor and asks the UK to donate 0.7% of its income to help.



Read the letter here.



Speaking in Dublin Bono said that charity is no longer enough because Africa is "bursting into flames".



"We are after billions, not millions - and that's what it's going to take to sort out the problems of our next door neighbour.



"There's a general feeling in some camps that because they are doing well their economies can't afford the commitment of 0.7% and it's going to be more money than they thought.



"A lot of these people are doing some great things, but there are promises being broken and that's unacceptable."



Dismissing reports that a Live Aid II is being planned, he said "there's an emergency going on and for me it's not really about charity at this point, it's about justice."



He said he did not want to see again the shocking images from Africa that were beamed around the world 20 years ago.



"There are plans being discussed here today that would mean we wouldn't have to see those awful pictures again," he added.



"There are bureaucratic bottle-necks going on. People have pledged 14 billion dollars to the EU but the EU haven't found a way of spending it.



"At a time when 6,500 Africans are dying every day of AIDS that's not the Europe I want to be in."



More onthe campaign to secure a just future for the poorest countries at www.datadata.org

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