An issue for World Citizens regarding our children, not animals and not the fish at Hol Chan. Every five seconds a child dies of malnutrition. How many seconds did it take you to read this?

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Rock star Bono has tried to feed the world and he's tried to heal the world. Now, he's trying to help some U.S. lawmakers teach the world.

The lead singer of the Irish group U2 -- and perennial advocate for anti-poverty programs -- on Tuesday joined with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-New York, and other lawmakers seeking to expand basic education around the world.

"I can't vote for any of them, but I'm thankful for what they're doing," Bono said from Ireland during a conference call with legislators. "This is why I'm a fan -- and an annoying fan at times -- of America."

The singer joined Clinton and Reps. Nita Lowey, D-New York, and Spencer Bachus, R-Alabama, in pushing long-dormant legislation that would add $10 billion to a global fund to provide education to millions of children in Africa and elsewhere.

An estimated 77 million children worldwide -- and 38 million in Africa alone -- lack access to education up to the sixth grade. Similar data show that the more education a person has, the more money they earn and the less likely they are to be infected with HIV.

The group argued that a generous effort by the United States for the world's poorest children would go a long way toward improving the country's international standing, and reducing the threat of terrorism.

"Young people who are reading books aren't building bombs," said Bachus.

A version of the bill was offered in 2004, but with only Democratic sponsors it went nowhere. Bono and others are hopeful a bipartisan effort could advance the measure.

Action by the United States would also compel European nations to offer even more, Bono argued.

"The United States is just one-third of this. Your money will be certainly doubled up and I will be working on trebling it. I think we can guarantee the double," he said.

Gene Sperling, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton, said Washington is slowly warming to the notion that advancing education abroad helps combat problems of poverty, HIV/AIDS and hunger.

"In 2004, it was partisan legislation that seemed like a pipe dream, and the earth has shifted some on the issue of education in developing countries," said Sperling.

Bono has launched a second career of activism, largely focused on development issues in Africa. He has co-founded organizations to fight poverty and HIV/AIDS and to forgive debt.

BERLIN, Germany (AP) -- The world's biggest industrial countries are failing to keep up with financial promises they made to Africa, rocker-activist Bono said Tuesday, calling a new progress report "a cold shower" for the Group of Eight.

G-8 members in 2004-2006 contributed less than half the amount needed to make good on promises to double Africa aid to $50 billion by 2010, according to a report released by DATA -- Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa -- an advocacy group founded by Bono, the 47-year-old frontman for Irish band U2.

"The G-8 are sleepwalking into a crisis of credibility. I know the DATA report will feel like a cold shower, but I hope it will wake us all up," he said. (Bono talks to CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta about Africa, poverty and promises )

Bono is urging German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who chairs a G-8 summit in Germany next month, to ensure that members contribute what they said they would.(Go to CNN's podcasting page to download Dr. Sanjay Gupta's interview with Bono)

The report shows the G-8 increased aid by $2.3 billion but says the nations need to increase aid by an additional $3.1 billion to substantially help the people of Africa.

"These statistics are not just numbers on a page," Bono said. "They are people begging for their lives, for two pills a day, a mother begging to immunize her children, a child begging not to become a mother at the age of 12."

The DATA report said aid money that does arrive has an effect. "Every day 1,450 Africans living with AIDS are put on lifesaving drugs," the organization said, and 20 million African children are going to school for the first time, thanks in part to debt cancellations and aid increases.

Still, Bono warns that insufficient increases in aid could reverse progress already made. DATA says the G-8 must contribute $7.4 billion this year alone to reach its goal. If Germany makes good on its promises to help Africa, he said, the other G-8 members will do the same.

Britain and Japan have contributed most of the aid increase so far, it said.

Last edited by Sir Isaac Newton; 05/15/07 02:07 PM.

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