Former US President Bill Clinton said this evening that people should never again starve in the street because of a financial crisis.
"I hope to god you will never have to live through another financial crisis like this, but if you did have one even less severe, you wouldn't want people starving in the street or going without basic medical care or mental health services or support for their children," he said.
President Clinton was speaking at a Philanthropy Ireland event in Dublin this evening, which was attended by 250 invited guests from business, politics, academia and philanthropy.
Delivering the keynote address, he paid tribute to the generosity of the Irish government to his Foundation when he was seeking funds to fight AIDs in Africa.
"The first country that offered to give me money was Ireland. You should be pretty proud of that," he said.
Guests were asked to pledge their support for the 'One Percent Difference' campaign which encourages individuals and both small and big businesses to donate one per cent of their time or income to a cause or project of their choice - an initiative described by President Clinton as "a great idea".
Among the guests at the lecture and dinner in the Conrad Hotel were Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan, Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin, businessman Denis O'Brien, hotelier and chairman of the American Ireland Fund John Fitzpatrick, Independent News & Media chief executive, Vincent Crowley, and Stephen Rae, Independent News & Media Editor-in-Chief.