U2 frontman Bono has urged the U.S. government not to forget the world's poor despite the country's current turbulent economic climate.
The human rights campaigner joined former U.S. president Bill Clinton at his 4th annual philanthropic summit in New York on Wednesday (24Sep08) and accused the West of abandoning their duty to help impoverished nations.
The singer also criticised the Bush administration for using $700 billion (GBP388 billion) to bail out Wall Street investment bankers instead of clearing Third World debt - branding the move "mad".
He told the summit, "It is extraordinary to me that you can find $700 billion to save Wall Street and the entire G8 can't find $25 billion (GBP13.8 billion) to save 25,000 children who die every day of preventable treatable disease and hunger. That's mad, that is mad."
Clinton added, "This crisis is not an excuse to walk away from the world's challenges, but a compelling reason to intensify our efforts to meet them, around the corner and around the world."
In 2005, the G8 vowed to raise $50 billion (GBP27.7 billion) in annual aid by 2010, with GBP25 billion (GBP13.8 billion) going to Africa. However, as the U.S. financial system faces its biggest crisis since the Depression era of the 1930s, the G8 will fall $40 billion (GBP22.2 billion) short of its promised sum.
But Bono believes there should be no room for compromise.
He adds, "Bankruptcy is a serious business and we all know people who have lost their jobs. But this is moral bankruptcy."