WASHINGTON (Talk Media News) – Bono, the frontman of the band U2, called on the Senate Tuesday to invest in additional aid programs to stem the rise of violent extremism.
“Foreign aid is not charity, it’s a national security,” Bono said during his testimony before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee.
During the hearing, Bono, born Paul David Hewson, argued that the U.S. should take a page from the success of the Marshall Plan, an aid program that provided assistance in post-World War II Europe that had the added benefit of limiting Soviet influence.
“The Marshall Plan was a bulwark against violent extremism in the early days of the Cold War, through finance and through incentivizing well – functioning political and economic systems,” Bono said. “And as I have been talking to people about the precipitating factors in the refugee crisis in the last few months, I keep hearing calls for something like a Marshall Plan to head off the rise of violent extremism in North Africa, the Middle East, and the Sahel.”
Bono visited refugee camps in Jordan, Turkey, Kenya, and Somalia in early April. The singer explained Tuesday that the level of people fleeing their homes has created a vacuum that has been filled by extremists.
In addition to tackling the humanitarian concerns posed by the refugee crisis, Bono calls for lawmakers to find ways to combat corruption in the developing world.
“If you don’t do it now, it’s going to cost a lot more later,” Bono said. “America becomes America when it looks outward.”
The Irish singer-songwriter, musician and philanthropist is also the co-founder of ONE campaign, which fights extreme poverty and disease in particularly Africa.