Bono receives major US award for work tackling poverty, injustice

U2 lead singer Bono has received a major award in the United States to mark his commitment to fighting injustice, extreme poverty, and the global Aids crisis.

Bono was awarded the 2021 J William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding at a ceremony in Washington DC on Thursday.

The Fulbright Association said the award was to honour Bono’s commitment to seek justice by fighting to end extreme poverty, tackle global health crises, and spur economic development in the poorest parts of the planet.

The Fulbright Association maintained that Bono embodied “the best of leadership in times of unrelenting global crises and challenges”.

The prize has been awarded by the Fulbright Association since 1993, it seeks to recognise outstanding contributions to promoting peace through greater understanding among peoples, cultures, and nations.

Among those who have previously been awarded the Fulbright prize are:

Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu, Bill Clinton, Vaclav Havel, Corazon Aquino, Mary Robinson, Doctors without Borders, Bill and Melinda Gates, and Angela Merkel.

The Fulbright programme was set up by Senator J William Fulbright in 1946. It was created in the aftermath of the second World War with the goal of preventing future conflicts by providing opportunities for US citizens to exchange ideas and create connections with people from other countries.

It is the largest US international exchange programme in the world, offering scholarship opportunities in 155 countries worldwide.

The Fulbright Programme in Ireland was established in 1957 and The Fulbright Commission in Ireland was formally established in 1988. Since its formation more than 2,500 postgraduate students, scholars, professionals, and teachers from all disciplines have participated in the programme between the two countries.

The Fulbright Association is the alumni organisation of the Fulbright Programme in the United States, representing more than 140,000 American grantees.

Bono is the co-founder of One, a global organisation campaigning to end extreme poverty and preventable disease by 2030 and Red which works to try eliminate HIV/Aids in Africa.

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