Bono: ‘We’re broke’ but foreign aid must continue [VIDEO]

Nicholas Ballasy Senior Video Reporter
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WASHINGTON – U2 singer and humanitarian Bono said that even though the world is “broke,” the wealthiest countries should still provide humanitarian aid to the developing world.

“Guess what? We’re broke. We’re broke. When the ONE Campaign and I go busking for development assistance in this capital and capitals of Europe, in some quarters the word aid sounds like an expletive, really. It’s like you bought a bad smell into the room. It’s like, oh that guy’s got body odor. But we need aid,” Bono said at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Food Security and Global Agriculture symposium May 18.

“Of course we still need aid. Does anyone disagree? Anyone apart from brain dead, heart dead, ideologues or professional controversialists?”

In his remarks, Bono cited the most “courageous” countries in terms of appropriating aid.

“Has anyone been to Europe lately? Is it still there? I’m a European. I’m a proud European. I believe in the EU. Most people call us the IOU…0.7 commitment is a serious commitment but it’s under threat and so are the lives that it will support. Very few countries have been courageous enough to keep their promises on aid,” he said.

“Ireland’s actually been doing it, Sweden and Norway doubled doing it. The UK is doing it too. If you see David Cameron having an austerity pint at the bar please shake his hand. It’s probably a gin and tonic but shake his hand because this is serious leadership, serious courage.”

“We’re counting on Germany. We need France. We need Spain and let’s face it; a world without Italy would just be boring,” Bono said.

“Thank God he’s gone,” he added, referring to former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Last year, Forbes ranked Bono’s band U2 as the highest earning band in the world for taking in $195 million. (RELATED: Bono denies reports of Facebook payday)

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also participated in event.

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Nicholas Ballasy