On the day Bono’s scheduled to testify before Congress on the “causes and consequences of violent extremism and the role of foreign assistance,” the U2 frontman has penned an essay, published in this morning’s New York Times, that summarizes his feelings and ideas about the issue.
Noting that he’s just returned from visiting Africa and the Middle East and many of the refugee camps there are “car parks of humanity”. Bono encourages the world to see the refugee crisis as “not just a Middle Eastern or African problem, it’s a European problem. It’s an American one, too. It affects us all.”
The solution, as Bono sees it, is threefold: Humanitarian support to immediately assist refugees; development to help integrate refugees; and development assistance to troubled nations most affected by the refugee crisis.
Bono of course has long been involved in global advocacy for the less fortunate, whether it’s convincing nations to forgive the debt of developing countries, to his (RED) initiative to fight AIDS and HIV, to his ONE organization, which strives to fight extreme poverty and disease.
Bono ends his New York Times essay by emphasizing hope, noting his surprise to discover refugees, some of whom have been displaced for decades or generations, still have hope of a better life.
“Hope is not lost in the Middle East and North Africa,” writes Bono, “not yet, not even where it’s held together by string. But hope is getting impatient. We should be, too.”