Promises to Keep

DISEASE AND POVERTY: An AIDS patient with his chickens in a village in Zimbabwe. One in four of the country’s adult population is HIV positive.

Bono was meeting with Gerhard Schröder, the German Chancellor, last April and didn't like the body language. "He avoided eye contact," the Irish rock star and activist recalls. "He stared at the floor, kept changing the subject." The subject was by how much Germany could raise its contribution to the developing world, which at 0.28% of gross national income (GNI) has lagged behind that of many other European countries. Bono understood why Schröder felt awkward. One of his officials had recently insisted that spending any more on Africa would "bankrupt Germany." "Fiscal discipline is a religious movement there," Bono...

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