Bono, Geldof welcome G8 aid deal for Africa
GLENEAGLES, Scotland (Reuters) – Rock musicians Bob Geldof
and Bono, who have spearheaded a global push to tackle African
poverty, broadly welcomed a pledge on Friday by the Group of
Eight (G8) nations to double aid to Africa.
“Six hundred thousand people will be alive to remember this
G8 in Gleneagles who would have lost their lives to a mosquito
bite,” Bono said, referring to the difference he thought the
extra aid would make to fighting malaria.
“If an Irish rock star can quote Churchill, this is not the
end of extreme poverty, but it is the beginning of the end,”
the U2 singer said at the end of the G8 summit in Scotland.
Geldof, who organized this month’s Live 8 concerts to put
pressure on the world’s most industrialized nations, said the
summit was a “qualified triumph.”
He gave the leaders 10 marks out of 10 for their pledges on
aid and eight out of 10 for debt relief.
“A great justice has been done,” he said. “We are beginning
to see the lives of the poor of Africa determined not by
charity but by justice.”
The leaders of Britain, the United States, France, Germany,
Japan, Italy, Canada and Russia said on Friday that by 2010
they would spend about $25 billion more a year on Africa, where
poverty claims a child’s life every ten seconds.
They also pledged, with other donors, to roughly double
total aid for all developing countries, boosting it by about
$50 billion a year by 2010.
The Irish stars urged people who watched the Live 8
concerts and supported the Make Poverty History coalition of
charities, churches and other groups to make sure the leaders
stuck to their pledges.
“The world spoke out and the politicians listened,” Bono
said. “Now, if the world keeps an eye out, they will keep their