ONE Campaign responds to column on the charity

The ONE Campaign is deeply concerned about

Paula Froelich’s misleading column

in Sunday’s Post.

It contained too many mistakes and falsehoods to cover here and was built on a fundamental lie. She suggests that the work done by ONE’s nearly 9 million members around the world and the companies that partner with (RED) to help pay for anti-AIDS medicines for people living with HIV is meaningless. This is unfair and demonstrably false.

ONE has helped pass legislation that has resulted in billions of dollars for effective anti-poverty programs and saved tens of millions of lives. ONE and Bono have helped raise $37.5 billion for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria and GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, which have helped prevent nearly 30 million deaths. (RED) has raised nearly a half-billion dollars to prevent and treat AIDS in Africa through the Global Fund, whose work on AIDS alone has helped 11 million people with HIV get life-saving medication.

Froelich’s piece led with the claim that Bono arrived in Mali in 2012 on a private jet emblazoned with “ONE” on the side. This is false. No such plane exists, and it was a personal trip that ONE neither planned nor paid for.

The author also claimed that Bono and the chair of ONE’s board, Tom Freston, use ONE to “fly themselves and their friends around the world for free.” That is false. ONE has never paid for Bono’s travel. He travels around the world to advocate on ONE’s agenda at his own expense.

Froelich later insinuated that Freston’s connection to Vice Media played a role in (RED)’s decision to hire Vice to produce its “shopathon” campaigns. This is false, and the decision was approved by The ONE board’s audit committee. (The two “shopathon” campaigns raised $97 million to fight AIDS.)

ONE is not a “think tank,” as she wrote, nor are we a grant-making organization, as she implied. We lobby governments to fund effective programs that help people who are sick, feed people who are hungry and help children get the chance to thrive.

Ian Koski is the communications director of The ONE Campaign in Washington, DC