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Dublin: 11°C Thursday 17 June 2021

Bono: 'These people are refugees, not migrants'

The U2 frontman said people are not fleeing because “they want to live in Italy or Ireland”.

Bono waves as he arrives for a visit to Expo 2015 in Milan.
Bono waves as he arrives for a visit to Expo 2015 in Milan.
Image: Giuseppe Aresu/AP/Press Association Images

BONO HAS HIT out at the use of the word “migrant” to describe refugees seeking asylum in Europe.

The U2 frontman used the stage at Expo 2015, a world fair in Milan, last night to criticise the term commonly used to characterise the millions displaced by conflict in the Middle East and Africa.

“‘Migrant’ is a political word, used to take away the real status of these people – they are refugees,” he said during a panel discussion on world hunger.

People are not fleeing, he said, because “they want to live in Italy or Ireland”.

They’re leaving their homes because they don’t have any homes.

According to the UN, the vast majority of people crossing the Mediterranean into Europe – more than 85% – are escaping war.

Most are travelling from Syria, from where over four million have fled since fighting began there in 2011.

Source: parlamentonews/YouTube

Funding increase

At the same event, the minister for agriculture, food and the marine, Simon Coveney, announced that Ireland will increase its funding to the UN World Food Programme (WFP) to €60 million.

“This will involve an upfront commitment to provide an annual contribution of untied aid to WFP of €20 million a year for each of the next three years,” he said.

The commitment, he added, will “not solve the current crisis” but support the WFP in delivering “emergency assistance to the most needy and fragile”.

Read: Tears of joy as Germany welcomes refugee trains streaming into Munich

Read: Tánaiste says there shouldn’t be “upper limit” on the refugees Ireland takes

About the author:

Catherine Healy

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