independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Extreme poverty can be wiped out by 2030, says Bono

Bono addresses the audience at TED 2013 in Long Beach, California.

U2 frontman Bono believes extreme poverty could be eliminated by 2030.

Speaking at TED2013 in the US, the musician and co-founder of ONE called on a new generation of evidence-based activists, or "factivists", to see that it is brought to an end.

At the not-for-profit Technology, Education, Design conference, which is held annually in Long Beach, California, speakers are invited to present a problem, a solution, and often a narrative.

At it, the rock star noted that global extreme poverty has been cut in half over the past two decades and that if we continued down the same course, we could reach the 'zero zone' in 17 years' time – but only if we acted now.

Reaching that zone would mean that less than 5pc of the world's population would be left living a daily struggle.

"For number crunchers like us, it's the erogenous zone," he said.

Bono highlighted the progress in the treatment of AIDS, the fight against malaria and the reduction in child mortality.

"What the facts are telling us is that the long, slow journey, humanity's long, slow journey of equality, is actually speeding up," he said.

Despair

"The number of people living in back-breaking, soul-crushing extreme poverty, has declined form 43pc of the world's population in 1990, to 33pc by 2000, and then to 21pc by 2010.

"This rapid transition is a route out of despair and into hope."

He continued: "Since the turning of the millennium, there are eight million more AIDS patients getting life-saving antiretroviral drugs.

"For kids under five, child mortality is down by 2.65 million a year. That's a rate of 7,256 children's lives saved each day.

The Killiney-based singer urged governments to continue providing funding for programmes to combat poverty and disease.

Irish Independent

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