Boomtown Rats frontman and Live Aid campaigner Sir Bob Geldof has said The world needs to come together to do more to help the millions of people facing starvation in East Africa.
Speaking to ITV News, Geldof praised the leading role Britain has taken in the international appeal for action, but accused the world’s superpowers of so far failing to follow.
“Russia, China, the Middle East (nations) … We never talk about them, but where are they?” he said.
“They claim to be, you know, mature states, honourable countries, where are they? Where are they? They’re never there.”
The drought and conflict in East Africa has left more than 16 million people across South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia desperate for food, water and medical treatment.
During the interview, Gelfof said he had been impressed by Secretary of State Priti Patel’s call for action in support of the Disasters Emergency Committee’s East Africa Crisis Appeal.
He believes “the world is very different” from the 1980’s, when he was the figurehead of the Live Aid appeal to help Ethiopia’s famine victims. While poverty remained the “root cause” of the world’s suffering, Geldof says it has also had the knock-on effect of helping terror groups recruit young men with “absolutely no future” as paid-for killers.
“A lot of the thugs in al-Shabaab and ISIS and Boka Haram are literally just killers and murderers, gangs, you know, enriching themselves,” he said.
Geldoff also said that he hoped the public would not be reluctant to help because this current crisis was partly man-made.
“You’ve got to picture it actually,” he said. “They go about their lives, out in the boondocks, making whatever they can, getting a living, enjoying their lives, enjoying their families, enjoying their children. Transplant that to a British city.
“You go about your life, get your family, go to the pub, go whatever, and the next minute, nothing. Now, they are survivors, but they’re not going to survive thuggery, thuggery married to an existential climactic moment. They’re not going to survive that.
“But they will. If there’s the political ability to get to them with your cash. And every quid you get is a vote that says, nope, not in my name pal.”
Television viewers in the U.K. can watch the interview with Bob Geldof on Famine: Millions on the Brink, tonight (Thursday 16 March) at 7.30pm (GMT) on ITV.
If you would like to help the current appeal, you can donate now by visiting www.dec.org.uk or calling +44 370 60 60 610.