Global Citizen Unveils End Extreme Poverty Now - Our Future Can't Wait

A CALL FOR GOVERNMENTS, CORPORATIONS, AND CITIZENS TO EMPOWER GIRLS ACROSS THE WORLD; BREAK SYSTEMIC BARRIERS THAT KEEP PEOPLE IN POVERTY; AND TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE
Mar 29, 2022 2:00 AM ET
Summary: 

With the Support of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed, President of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly Abdulla Shahid, President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of Zambia Hakainde Hichilema, Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Belgium Alexander De Croo, Prime Minister of Croatia Andrej Plenković, Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz, Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sánchez, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ireland Simon Coveney, Foreign Minister of Nigeria Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia Sandiaga Uno, Minister of Environment of Rwanda Dr. Jeanne d'Arc Mujawamariya, 8th UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development Gilbert F. Houngbo, Director-General of the World Health Organization Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, Executive Director of the World Food Programme David Beasley, COP26 President Alok Sharma, Director of Education Cannot Wait Yasmine Sherif, CEO of GAVI Seth Berkley, Secretary General of International Chamber of Commerce John W.H. Denton, former Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg, former Executive Director of UN Women Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, and the Government of Peru.

Year-Long Campaign Featuring Multiple Major Global Events, Including the Global Citizen Prize; Global Citizen NOW: Leadership Summit; the Global Citizen Festival 10th Anniversary in New York City and Africa; and Global Citizen at the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia

Tshepo Mahloele to serve as Patron of the Campaign in Africa; Sandiaga Uno, Minister for Tourism and Creative Economy, Republic of Indonesia, to serve as Patron of the Campaign in Indonesia as part of this year’s G20 summit.

Press Release

NEW YORK, GENEVA and BRUSSELS, March 29, 2022 /3BL Media/ - International advocacy organization Global Citizen today launched End Extreme Poverty NOW — Our Future Can’t Wait, a new campaign calling on governments, private sector leaders, and billionaires to make the commitments urgently required to End Extreme Poverty NOW. The year-long campaign will focus on three critical issues on which the world can no longer afford to wait to make change: 1) empowering adolescent girls across the world. 2) breaking systemic barriers that keep people trapped in poverty; 3) taking climate action now. Throughout 2022, Global Citizen will rally millions of citizens to demand that the world's top political and business leaders stop delaying action with longer-term timelines and focus on what we need to do here and now.

The war against Ukraine - in addition to causing untold suffering and devastation - will only aggregate efforts to achieve Global Citizen’s mission even further. The ongoing crisis,. and its unfolding repercussions, are only a stark and violent reminder that we need more action NOW to establish the conditions for a shared future. We can’t pay for one crisis by cutting funding for another. Each and every crisis, and each and every person living in poverty, deserves to receive our support and solidarity.

“The global agenda to end extreme poverty, defend the planet, and tackle inequity is in peril. And despite progress in a few countries before COVID-19 hit, the world was and continues to be wildly off-track from the 2030 target,” said Hugh Evans, CEO and Co-Founder of Global Citizen. “This moment of crisis demands new urgency and a renewal of purpose. We need a new compact built on mutual trust and respect – one that lifts up the voices of the people whose lives depend on its success and who suffer from its failure. An agenda built by and with them, to a timeframe set by those who understand all too well that every lost minute is a whole new tragedy.”

The ripple effect of the COVID-19 pandemic triggered not only a public health crisis, but also a social, economic, and climate crisis. These combined crises have wiped out all gains made since the Global Goals were adopted in 2015, with the World Bank estimating that nearly 100M more people have been pushed into extreme poverty, wiping away 6 years of progress, 45M people are on the brink of starvation, over 85M are on the move, fleeing conflict, including more than 3.6M fleeing from Ukraine. Tackling these crises will prove more difficult as a result of the spiking food prices and potential shortage of aid from humanitarian organizations due to the conflict in Ukraine. The past two years have also shown that the world is unwilling to deliver both on its promise to end extreme poverty, and to protect the progress made over the last two decades. There was no meaningful progress from world leaders in 2021, despite numerous opportunities at the G7, G20, and COP26 meetings.

The End Extreme Poverty NOW campaign is advocating for commitments from governments, private sector leaders who have not stepped up, and billionaires to:

  • Empower Girls NOW

The campaign aims to move the G7, under the leadership of German Chanceller Olaf Scholz, to meet the needs of 50M young girls by providing a minimum of USD $400M to reach millions of young women with immediate support for school meals, access to education, and health, including sexual and reproductive health services.

  • Break Systemic Barriers NOW

We can achieve real change right now towards ending extreme poverty by first breaking the two systemic barriers that unnecessarily prolonged the pandemic and undermined the recovery of lower-income countries: the twin evils of healthcare injustice and financial inequity. COVID-19 has exposed and exacerbated these issues.

The campaign calls for action to beat COVID-19 variants and prevent the next pandemic, including by sharing intellectual property for vaccines and other medical tools with developing countries, strengthening health systems for in-country delivery of those tools, and investing so there is enough capacity across continents to produce at least 16B vaccine doses in a single year against future threats.

Additionally, financial equity is necessary to fund essential needs and address global challenges, including reallocating at least USD $100B in IMF Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), fulfilling long-standing but unmet foreign aid commitments, and advancing policies for fairer and more effective taxation globally.

  • Take Climate Action NOW

In 2022 it is urgent that leaders — especially those of the U.S., Australia, and Germany — keep their commitment to the $100B per year climate financing promised for adaptation and mitigation. We must open the way for decisive collective action to keep warming below 1.5°C of warming, while calling for developed countries and businesses to go further, faster.

Food security, nutrition, and livelihoods must be prioritized by directing significant climate adaptation resources to rural communities and smallholder farmers.

Companies, especially those in high-emitting industries such as manufacturing and construction, need to set clear and transparent science-based net zero and nature positive targets in line with 1.5°C. Those that have already done so should implement and publically report on these targets. In particular, the steel and cement sectors must step up and sign on to the Race to Zero. Combined, they contribute 15% to global annual carbon emissions.

The situation in Ukraine reinforces the urgency behind many of the policy recommendations outlined in the End Extreme Poverty NOW campaign, including helping farmers around the world, dismantling systems that perpetuate financial inequity, and providing education and health services for the women and girl refugees escaping conflict.

Cutting across all our work throughout the year is a strong commitment to defend and promote advocacy, ensuring that marginalized voices are heard, and that leaders are held accountable to deliver on their promises. Global Citizen will elevate citizen’s voices, especially from the Global South, and defend the right of anyone to speak freely, dissent, and organize, without fear of reprisals or violence.

As part of this commitment, Global Citizen has reoriented its product strategy to focus on meeting Global Citizens where they are at in their day-to-day life and driving behavioral actions 365 days a year. Starting today, people everywhere can take action by calling on political representatives to fulfill the promises they made and End Extreme Poverty NOW.

“Only together can we keep the promise of the Global Goals for everyone, everywhere. Join me in the Global Citizen End Poverty NOW — Our Future Can’t Wait campaign, to deliver the Global Goals — our best hope for people, for the planet, for peace, and for prosperity.”

- Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.

"Global crises such as the pandemic or the climate crisis can only be solved together through international cooperation. We will therefore work to make progress towards an equitable world during Germany's G7 Presidency. I support Global Citizen's commitment to end extreme poverty worldwide.“

- Olaf Scholz, Chancellor of Germany

"We join Global Citizen in continuing our stewardship in ensuring a better world and future for all. The last two years have shown the devastating impact to humanity when we choose individual goals over the global good. Together, we have to take concrete actions that will create a better future for our planet and its people, NOW."

- Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa

“It is with a sense of urgency that I join Global Citizen as a patron for its 2022 campaign. I call on governments, the private sector, philanthropy, civil society and activists indeed all over the world to join us this year with the power of ideas and actions so that finally we can move from rhetoric to real change. Proposals, such as optimizing Special Drawing Rights as part of climate finance have incredible potential and I look forward to discussing this and many other ideas with you all. Let us be bold and let us eliminate extreme poverty NOW from our world. We can and we will.”

- Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley

“For Ghana, ensuring that we end poverty, empower young girls and protect the planet is of utmost importance. This is why we are joining Global Citizen in their 2022 campaign efforts together as one voice and as one community. There is no better time than NOW.”

- Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana

“These days, we are once again feeling the value of vibrant civil societies. With their vigor, their ingenuity and their convening power they contribute significantly to positive changes on earth. They count among the most valuable assets of free democratic societies. That’s why I am proud to support Global Citizen’s new campaign, End Extreme Poverty NOW. Change is more needed than ever, as we take up the challenge of building a better world after COVID. We want no one to go hungry. We want the same opportunities to succeed for all the world's children – especially girls! And we want to stop global warming. So let’s all join forces to reach our Global Goals.”

- Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

New York City is home to Global Citizen Headquarters and Global Citizen Festival. As the organization enters into its 10th year, we are honored to have the support of Mayor Adams, 110th Mayor of New York City.

“There’s only one city that can unite the world in common cause and that’s New York. We’re proud to be hosting Global Citizen NOW as we come together to defeat poverty and protect the planet, and I can’t think of a more fitting place to celebrate 10 years of the Global Citizen Festival than on the Great Lawn in New York City. It’s time to showcase our greatness, fight for change, and show the world we are open for business."

- New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

The End Extreme Poverty NOW campaign is executed in partnership with many of the world's leading companies, including Cisco, Procter & Gamble, and Verizon. Under the leadership of Chuck Robbins, Chairman and CEO of Cisco, Global Citizen will work to engage the private sector across industries to sign on to the Race to Zero to open the way for decisive collective action to keep temperatures below 1.5°C of warming. As Patron of Global Citizen’s work in Africa, Tshepo Mahloele and the Lebashe Investment Group will support Global Citizen’s growth across Africa to reach more audiences and help achieve equity in places with high rates of extreme poverty. As Patron of Global Citizen’s work at the G20, Minister Sandiaga Uno of Indonesia will support efforts to make this year’s G20 Summit inclusive and impactful, with a specific focus on empowering youth and getting wealthy nations to follow through on the funding needed for a fair and just clean energy transition.

“Cisco is proud to continue our partnership with Global Citizen in support of their mission to end extreme poverty. Private sector support is essential to powering an inclusive future for all, and we must work together and commit to finding a solution to this global crisis.”

- Chuck Robbins, Chairman and CEO, Cisco

“I am honored and humbled to play a meaningful role that supports existing global efforts to deal with vaccine inequity, challenge poverty, and empower young girls. The neglect of these predicaments, including global warming, have a detrimental effect on the prospects of the citizens of Africa and this situation cannot be allowed to continue unabated. It is about time these matters are brought back on the global agenda. I am happy that the Global Citizen movement has reignited the debate about such critical matters and that it is continuing to keep Africa top of mind.”

- Tshepo Mahloele, Chairman and Founder, Lebashe Investment Group

"The triple challenge of health, economic, and climate crises that we face today make it absolutely clear that governments, business, civil societies, and the youth — irrespective of their political systems — must join forces if we are to recover together and recover stronger. Now is the time for all of us to be imaginative and bold in resolving the complex challenges of our time. Global Citizen embodies that very spirit of idealism and can-doism to keep the needle of transformation moving forward. That’s why I am proud to partner with Global Citizen and serve as a patron of their campaign efforts ahead of this year’s G20 summit.”

- Sandiaga Uno, Minister for Tourism and Creative Economy of the Republic of Indonesia, and G20 Patron of Global Citizen

In 2022, Global Citizen will bring this campaign to life through a series of global events to achieve the campaign’s goals, and end extreme poverty NOW, uniting world leaders, artists, philanthropists and CEOs to engage millions of citizens around the world. Key moments throughout 2022:

  • The Global Citizen Prize Awards Ceremony will return on May 22 to honor individuals who are making extraordinary efforts for the world’s most vulnerable. Additional details about the Global Citizen Prize and the Cisco Youth Leadership Award will be announced soon.
  • Global Citizen NOW: Leadership Summit on May 23 will assemble world leaders, community and business leaders, artists, and champions from the non-profit space to address ways forward for solving our biggest global challenges in ending extreme poverty NOW.
  • The 10th Anniversary of the Global Citizen Festival on September 24 will celebrate a decade of impact with the world’s most popular artists, live from the iconic Global Citizen stage on the Great Lawn in Central Park, New York City. A simultaneous live show in Africa and performances from across the globe will focus on driving commitments towards defeating extreme poverty NOW. More details, including artist lineups and special guests, will be announced in the coming months.
  • Global Citizen at the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia November 15-16 will be a global moment jointly hosted by the Indonesian G20 Presidency. Global Citizen at the G20 Summit will drive the private sector and the world’s leading economies to make the commitments needed to protect the planet. Additional details will be released in the coming months.

With the support of Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, who stands in solidarity with the End Extreme Poverty NOW — Our Future Can’t Wait campaign, governments and world leaders have voiced their support, including: Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed, President of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly Abdulla Shahid, President of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa, President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Zambia Hakainde Hichilema, Prime Minister of Belgium Alexander De Croo, Prime Minister of Croatia Andrej Plenković, Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz, Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sánchez, Foreign Minister of NIgeria Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ireland Simon Coveney, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia Sandiaga Uno, Minister of Environment of Rwanda Dr. Jeanne d'Arc Mujawamariya, COP26 President Alok Sharma, 8th UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, Director-General of the World Health Organization Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, Executive Director of the World Food Programme David Beasley, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development Gilbert F. Houngbo, Executive Director of the UNFPA Dr. Natalia Kanem, Director of Education Cannot Wait Yasmine Sherif, CEO of GAVI Seth Berkley, Secretary General of International Chamber of Commerce John W.H. Denton, former Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg, former Executive Director of UN Women Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, and the Government of Peru, as well as Congressional support for the Global Citizen NOW hosting committee: The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Senator Chris Coons, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, and Senator Chris Van Hollen.

End Extreme Poverty NOW — Our Future Can’t Wait is supported by partners: Ban Ki-Moon Center, C40 Cities, Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance, Center for Environmental Peacebuilding, CGIAR, Climate Leadership Group, Conservation international, Donor Tracker, Education Cannot Wait, Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia, The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), Gavi, Gerando Falcões, Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents (GFF), The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, Green Climate Fund, International Chamber of Commerce, International Fund for Agricultural Development, International Service for Human Rights, Media for Community Change, NPX, ONE campaign, OutRight Action International, Pandemic Action Network, Peace Boat, Re:wild, Rotary International, SBTi, Social Gastronomy Movement, UNFPA, UN Women, WHO Foundation, World Benchmarking Alliance, and World Food Programme.

More information about the policy aims for the End Extreme Poverty NOW campaign can be found in a white paper that was released today. Download the white paper here and to take action visit, www.globalcitizen.org/en/ and follow us @glblctzn.

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FOR EDITORS — ON BACKGROUND
Global Citizen’s 2021 Recovery Plan for the World featured two groundbreaking events. In May 2021, “Global Citizen VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World,” in partnership with other organizations and advocacy groups, helped mobilize USD $302M and secured 26M+ vaccine doses, and amplified the urgency of achieving vaccine equity worldwide to end the pandemic. In September 2021, “Global Citizen Live” was broadcast from an unprecedented seven continents over 24 hours with music performances in New York, London, Paris, Sydney, Seoul, Mumbai, Johannesburg, Lagos, Madrid, Lajatico, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Tuscany, and Los Angeles. Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of countless partner organizations, the resulting announcements included commitments from 53 governments and 16 corporations that resulted in 157M trees restored or protected, 60M+ COVID-19 vaccines donated, and over USD $1.1B committed towards fighting the impact of poverty and famine.

ABOUT GLOBAL CITIZEN:
Global Citizen is the world's largest movement of action takers and impact makers dedicated to ending extreme poverty NOW. We post, tweet, message, vote, sign, and call to inspire those who can make things happen — government leaders, businesses, philanthropists, artists, and citizens — together improving lives. By downloading our app, Global Citizens learn about the systemic causes of extreme poverty, take action on those issues, and earn rewards, which can be redeemed for tickets to concerts, events, and experiences all over the world. For more information, visit www.globalcitizen.org and follow @GlblCtzn.

CONTACT:
Global Citizen Inquiries: media@globalcitizen.org
Media Inquiries: Sunshine Sachs on behalf of Global Citizen, gc@sunshinesachs.com