Sunday 19 November 2017

Bono gets Barroso's support in fight against world poverty

U2 frontman Bono arrives in Brussels ahead of talks with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
U2 frontman Bono arrives in Brussels ahead of talks with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

BONO has returned to the campaign trail, meeting with the head of the European Commission in his efforts to tackle extreme poverty and preventable diseases.

The U2 frontman has had talks with dozens of high-profile figures over the years including US President Barack Obama and former White House chief Bill Clinton to highlight the plight of impoverished countries.

After meeting on several occasions to discuss what the EU is doing in terms of development aid, the rock star presented a book of WB Yeats's poetry, selected by Seamus Heaney, to the EC President Jose Manuel Barroso in Brussels.

Bono spoke with the Portuguese politician on behalf of global grassroots charity the ONE campaign, which he co-founded in 2004, to advocate on behalf of those living in abject poverty.

After their meeting, Mr Barroso said he would push for EU member states to agree to the Commission's proposal that a 20pc increase in external aid be set down in the next European budget from 2014.


He said governments and international organisations must invest money in saving lives by preventing diseases.

"More than ever, European action in the field of development and humanitarian aid is needed," Mr Barroso said after his recent visit to a camp housing refugees fleeing from the continuing violence in Syria.

"Just a few days ago, I saw in Jordan, in the Za'atari camp, how much our help to the refugees is appreciated."

Mr Barroso quoted UNICEF which said that without funding from the EU states, children in poor countries would not have access to schools.

He added that "more needs to be done for children and refugees all over the world".

Mr Barroso has also agreed to work with Bono on a proposal seeking transparency from mineral extraction industries.

Irish Independent

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