'Drought is an act of nature. Famine is man made...'
Bono joins stars from entertainment, the media and politics to launch 'The F Word: Famine is the Real Obscenity', a major campaign spotlighting the famine in Somalia that has killed more than 30,000 children in three months.
Among those appearing in a series of spots directed by Jesse Dylan are: former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, Somali-born singer and poet K’naan, media magnate Arianna Huffington, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former first daughters Jenna and Barbara Bush, George Clooney, Jessica Alba, Christy Turlington Burns, Kristin Davis, Colin Farrell, Joe Jonas, Liya Kebede, Idris Elba, Rob Lowe, Ewan McGregor and Evan Rachel Wood.
Anti-poverty advocacy group ONE, co-founded by Bono, is aiming to spark a more urgent response to the famine and wider food crisis in the Horn of Africa while also building support for longer-term strategies that will empower poor farmers in Africa, increase peace and stability and help finally end the cycle of famine and hunger.
Following the worst drought in 60 years, USAID estimates that 30,000 children have died as a result of famine in Somalia with 12million people on the edge of survival across the Horn of Africa. While the drought was not preventable, the famine follows a tragic combination of man-made factors - abnormally high food prices, poor governance in Somalia and an historic lack of investment in agricultural development in the region.
'I’ve been known to drop the occasional expletive,' writes Bono on the ONE blog, 'But the most offensive F word to me is not the one that goes f***. It’s F***** — the famine happening in Somalia. 'Drought, violence and political instability have invited in the grim reaper on a scale we have not seen in 20 years... 'Of course it’s complex, and solutions are difficult — especially in Somalia where there has not been a formal government for 20 years. But that is not an excuse for the world to look the other way... '
New online resources empower ONE members with the tools they need to learn about the issue and take action. Features include an interactive map of the famine zone, info-graphics and links to partner organizations.
ONE is a global grassroots advocacy and campaigning organization backed by more than 2.5 million people that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa, by raising public awareness and pressing political leaders to support smart, effective policies and programs that are saving lives, helping to put kids in school and improving futures.
It looks like we will have to do our Tonight Show residency another time - we're one man down. Bono has injured his arm in a cycling spill in Central Park and requires some surgery to repair it. We're sure he'll make a full recovery soon, so we'll be back! Much thanks to Jimmy Fallon and everyone at the show for their understanding.