Musicians put spotlight on east Africa crisis at Toronto International Film Festival
Excerpt from: Singers lend their voices to Somalia aid call, Kirk Makin, Globe and Mail
Singers Bono and K'naan acknowledged in an appearance at the Toronto International Film Festival on Saturday that the plight of Somalia, with its dysfunctional government, active Islamist insurgency and feuding warlords, challenges the capacity of traditional famine relief efforts. And they nodded to skepticism about the ability of global organizations to conquer famine – while issuing an impassioned call to overcome it.
“We’ve been selling this magic trick that will end poverty – and I think people aren’t buying it,” Bono said. “It’s time to be honest about the fight against extreme poverty. … We need to tell people how difficult it is and ask if people still want to be on for the ride.” …
Robert Fox, executive director of Oxfam Canada, said that sustained publicity about the famine – highlighted by Bono’s and K’naan’s appearance on the weekend – is raising hopes for a late burst of donations prior to the expiration of the federal program.
“We really don’t encounter donor fatigue; we encounter donor ignorance,” Mr. Fox said. “Having the story move from Page 12 to Page 1 has had a huge impact.”