Bono's U.S.-based anti-poverty groups to merge

WASHINGTON Mon Oct 29, 2007 7:30pm EDT

U2 lead singer Bono arrives to meet the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, October 3, 2007. Anti-poverty groups the ONE Campaign and DATA, both co-founded by rock star Bono, will merge in the United States to form a single organization in tackling poverty, especially in Africa, officials said on Monday. REUTERS/Jim Young

U2 lead singer Bono arrives to meet the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, October 3, 2007. Anti-poverty groups the ONE Campaign and DATA, both co-founded by rock star Bono, will merge in the United States to form a single organization in tackling poverty, especially in Africa, officials said on Monday.

Credit: Reuters/Jim Young

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Anti-poverty groups the ONE Campaign and DATA, both co-founded by rock star Bono, will merge in the United States to form a single organization in tackling poverty, especially in Africa, officials said on Monday.

The new organization will be known as ONE in the United States and will include the ONE Campaign's 2.4 million members, a U.S.-based project launched in 2004 to build citizen support to fight disease and extreme poverty.

Outside the United States, DATA -- or Debt, AIDS, Trade Africa -- will retain its name and focus on debt cancellation, AIDS treatment and more effective development assistance.

"ONE and DATA are two organizations with the same outrage: extreme, stupid poverty in the 21st century makes no sense when the resources and technology exist to do something about it," Bono said in a statement.

"What makes sense is to harness these two forces into a single organization and redouble our efforts. One Goal. One team," he added.

The new organization will be led by president and chief executive David Lane, an executive with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

"By combining DATA and the ONE Campaign we will create an organization that is stronger than the sum of its parts and better positioned to put the issues related to global poverty, and voter support for those issues, front and center onto the agendas of the wealthiest nations," said Tom Freston, who will chair the new group's board.

The new organizations will be headquartered in Washington with offices in London, Los Angeles, Abuja and Berlin.

(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton)

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