“…Before The Storm”

Bono, the lead singer for the band U2 and a known activist, has been true to form. He recently went to the Middle East and East Africa where he visited a number of refugee camps. He came away feeling that the problem is bigger than many countries acknowledge. Not only are many refugees not in camps but reside in the cities of the host countries where they may not have jobs or access to services, the problem is not going away. The idea of a “permanent temporary solution” will not do the job. While he was impressed with the sense of hope he found among refugees, a hope that helped him, he is calling for a ”Marshall Plan” to address the refugee issue. The Marshall Plan as some may recall was a plan set us by the United States to help Europe recover from WWII. Bono’s point is that without seriously addressing the problem, several countries could fracture and he asks us to think of what would happen if a country like Nigeria, several times larger than Syria were to fracture as a result of Boko Haram. We would then he says “wish we had been thinking bigger before the storm.” Shortly after his trip Bono before the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Subcommittee and there he said that we need to stop thinking about foreign aid as charity and start thinking about it in terms of national security. He believes that using foreign aid with a strong focus on fighting corruption and improving governance that that would be the best bulwark against extremism. It is clear that Bono was speaking in terms of the common good and without a political agenda. It was therefore easier for him to see and understand what was needed with common sense and even wisdom. Those who are in a position to make decisions about solving the refugee problem and what to do about foreign aid, certainly should heed him. As to people like us, we need to also be informed as to what a non-politicized statement sounds like and what kind of solutions it may call for.

2 thoughts on ““…Before The Storm””

  1. Yes The refugee problem affects the world, especially as several countries attempt to take them in and must rework the fabric of their society in order to do so.
    So handling of refugees whether in their own country or outside it, requires we cease to think of them as a burden but rather as a part of the human family in need of our love and care—a mind shift and also a heart opening.

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