Bono Wants US To Do More To Address Extremism And Global Refugee Crisis


The United States should do more to fight extremism and global refugee crisis, U2 lead singer and advocacy group ONE and AIDS organization (RED) founder, Bono said.

After his visit to the Middle East and East Africa where he toured refugee camps, Bono said that mass exodus is not only Europe's concern but of the U.S, as well. Refugee crisis is a global issue that needs to be addressed.

He said that since 2010, the number of people leaving their homes quadrupled because of worsening poverty, violence, and instability.

The U2 rockstar pointed out several misconceptions about the refugee crisis including the thinking that the crisis only temporary.

"Some families have spent two generations - and some young people their entire lives - as refugees," Bono wrote in his opinion blog. He condemns the treatment that these refugees are receiving. Refugees leave their homes only to be forced out from another.

Bono is calling on the U.S. and other developed countries to have a bigger participation - to think bigger, to act smarter, and move faster to address the crisis.

The singer said humanitarian support should be strengthened and established. He is also asking host countries to look at refugees as a beneficial part of society and not as a burden. Bono said that refugees have potential, that when cultivated, can empower and benefit the host country. Refugees must be viewed as leaders and partners, as well. More than food and shelter, they need education, training, and jobs.

"They were shopkeepers, teachers and musicians at home, and want to be these things again," Bono wrote.

Bono also addressed the issue of anarchy and asks governments to work on aiding countries at the brink of chaos.

"It is less expensive to invest on stability than to confront instability," Bono said. He hopes that the World Bank and International Monetary Fund along with government officials can emulate the Marshall Plan that focuses on the delivery of trade and development in chaotic areas.

"When aid is structured properly, with a focus on fighting poverty and improving governance, it could just be the best bulwark we have against the extremism of our age," the singer said during the Senate Appropriations subcommittee in charge of foreign aid.

Majority of Republican senators, however, are against more government spending for the Middle East aid program. During the hearing Republican senators raised the issue about roles of private companies in addressing the refugee crisis.

Google has previously announced their initiative - the Crisis Info Hub that aims to give Syrian refugees information such as lodging, emergency contacts, and medical facilities. It is currently available for refugees in Lesvos.

Photo: Scott Chacon | Flickr

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