Bob Geldof has urged the British public to "be proud" of its charitable efforts in the 25 years since the Live Aid fund-raising extravaganza. The former Boomtown Rats' frontman helped organize the multi-venue concert on July 13, 1985, which was held to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. An estimated two billion viewers watched the live broadcast around the globe, donating more than $225 million to the cause.
And now, 25 years later, Geldof has spoken of his pride in Britain for leading the way for the rest of the world by contributing to Live Aid and 2005's Live 8, which marked the 20th anniversary of the original event. In a column in British newspaper The Sun, Geldof writes, "This country and its people have for 25 years, since Live Aid, led this massive global effort."
"Then five years ago this month this country led the campaign with Make Poverty History and Live 8 - one concert, ten cities, a thousand artists, three billion viewers. We gave the world leaders who had gathered at Gleneagles in Scotland five years to cancel the debt of the very poorest people on the planet... Well, check this. Within eight months, the debt was canceled and today - because of that, because of you - 42 million children have gone to school for the first time."
"Britain, to its intense credit, is well on its way to doing 100 per cent, because you demanded it. Today that extra help for those in extreme poverty makes thousands of communities better and offers them hope and some future. This country's three main political parties all agreed this was the will of the generous, compassionate British people. You should be proud."