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Sun op-ed is wrong about Bono's ONE campaign

U2 (music group)Diseases and IllnessesBonoHIV - AIDSCharity

I was disappointed to read the ill-informed June 21 op-ed by Matt Patterson "U2: Great music in the service of a dubious charity," which contained misinformation about ONE, the anti-poverty group co-founded by U2 lead singer Bono.

Mr. Patterson suggested that U2 concert goers should be leery of calls by the band for "donations" to ONE, but the band has never asked the public to donate to ONE and neither has ONE because we don't raise donations from the public. We are funded almost entirely by foundations and individuals on our board, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. ONE's tagline is "we're not asking for your money, we're asking for your voice." If Mr. Patterson had simply gone to our website, http://www.one.org/about, he would have seen this.

Mr. Patterson also writes that ONE was involved in a "semi-scandal" because we give only a small portion of our funding to other charities as part of our work. Once more, some basic research here would have helped. ONE is not a grant-making organization, another fact easily found on our website. Rather than giving grants, ONE fights poverty and disease in Africa by raising awareness of the problems and solutions and then working with our 2.5 million members around the world to ask government leaders to support effective programs like PEPFAR (the U.S. AIDS initiative) that are saving millions of lives in poor countries. Thanks to effective U.S. programs that ONE has fought hard to support, more than 4 million people in Africa are on life-saving AIDS drugs, and malaria deaths have been cut in half in countries across the continent, all for less than 1 percent of the U.S. budget.

Not exactly "scandalous" results.

Kathy McKiernan, Washington

The writer is Global Director of Strategic Communications for the ONE campaign.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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