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EXCLUSIVE: A Statement From Bono's Charity ONE

Filed under: Oops!Bono

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Bono's charity ONE is looking to clear the air after some sketchy details about their organization came to the surface.

Here's ONE's statement on the recent allegations against them:

Contrary to the suggestion in the New York Post yesterday, ONE does not fundraise from the general public and we are not a grant-making organization. We are funded almost entirely by a handful of philanthropists on our board of directors to raise awareness and pressure political leaders to fight extreme poverty through smart and effective policies and programs, like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, which is saving 4,000 lives a day.

ONE has nearly 120 staff in the US, UK, Germany, Brussels, France, Nigeria and South Africa whose job it is to fight for funding for effective programs like the Fund and the US global AIDS program PEPFAR. As a result of those programs, today more than 4 million Africans have access to life-saving AIDS medication, up from only 50,000 people in 2002. Malaria deaths have been cut in half in countries across Africa in less than 2 years.

As other examples of our work, ONE helped successfully press for debt relief for Haiti after the devastating earthquake there and we recently played an important role in the passage of a law in the US requiring oil companies to report any payments to government officials – an effort to end backhanded deals between energy companies and corrupt politicians that hurt people in poor countries.

ONE has been a relentless advocate for these programs and policies and we have used the media spotlight to ensure world leaders keep their commitments. The media kits that were mentioned in the New York Post article, which were produced for far less than was cited and delivered by staff and volunteers, not a messenger service, were an effort to focus reporters on the Millennium Development Goals, a set of promises world leaders made to cut poverty, hunger and disease by 2015.

In hindsight, the kits were not the best way to gain attention for the issues and we regret that sending them distracted from the work we are trying to do and the issues we care about.

Thoughts?

[Image via WENN.]

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