Activist Geldof criticizes Canadian PM Trudeau's aid stance

Wed May 11, 2016 7:52pm EDT
 
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By Allison Lampert

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Anti-poverty activist Bob Geldof on Wednesday criticized Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for reportedly saying that Canada would not meet a United Nations goal on foreign aid spending this year or next.

The Toronto Star reported on Tuesday that Trudeau said his recently elected Liberal government will not meet the international goal to spend 0.7 percent of gross domestic product on foreign aid, adding it was "too ambitious for this year and probably for next year as well."

Geldof questioned why Canada could not meet the target when Britain and other western countries had done so.

"It seems very unambitious for a man as ambitious as Trudeau," Geldof told reporters in Montreal after speaking at a financial conference.

Trudeau, 44, the left-leaning Liberal Party leader and son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, took power last November. He has basked in international media attention since coming to power and maintained high approval ratings at home.

Geldof, a former singer for the Boomtown Rats, helped organize the 1985 Live Aid concert, which reached an estimated 1.5 billion people and did much to raise the profile of those suffering from poverty, starvation and disease in Ethiopia in the mid-1980s.

Geldof now has a private equity fund focused on Africa.

(Reporting By Allison Lampert in Montreal; Editing by Alan Crosby)

 
Singer/songwriter and activist Bob Geldof arrives for the GQ Men of the Year Awards at the Royal Opera House in London, Britain September 8, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett