Matt Damon talks about issues in Africa, USAID and his feelings about Barack Obama in a great interview with Jeffrey Goldberg at the Atlantic; you can find the article HERE – an excerpt:
JG: Do you think there’s tolerance in America for more foreign aid spending?
MD: If you could get people to understand, yes. If you go to a mom in Ohio and say “Every 20 seconds a child dies because of lack of access to clean water and sanitation,” they’d say “Get the fuck out of here, that is unconscionable.” Any American would react with revulsion to that idea. And Any American would be react with revulsion to that idea if you could get them to see this not in a Sally Struthers way, especially. Bono’s group (the One Campaign) has done a lot of work trying to figure out how to message these issues, and what people respond to is things that work. They don’t want to hear people are dying. People say, “I know, but I have my own life, I don’t have a job, the economy, we’re living in a tough world,” and I get that. But once they go, “Wait a minute, there are solutions to these problems out there that really work, they’re practical and they makes sense to me,” people will pony up for that.
Gary White: By definition, people have a higher threshold for foreign aid, because they already believe we give about 10 times more than we actually do.
JG: Bush showed that you could increase aid budgets, I think. He did PEPFAR (a U.S. funded-program — the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief — that has brought anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) to more than a million AIDs patients in Africa).
MD: I would kiss George W. Bush on the mouth for what he did on PEPFAR.
Video from the AP of Matt Damon in Africa working on behalf of his clean water project:
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