International advocacy organisation, Global Citizen, has launched a new campaign aimed at addressing the issue of poverty now. The year-long campaign, called End Extreme Poverty NOW – Our Future Can’t Wait, will focus on three critical issues:  empowering adolescent girls across the world; breaking systemic barriers that keep people trapped in poverty; and taking climate action now.

Supported by the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Amina Mohammed, President of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa, President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Zambia Hakainde Hichilema, Foreign Minister of Nigeria Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Environment of Rwanda Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, Former Executive Director of UN Women Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, and presidents of nations around the world, the campaign will feature a calendar of major global events.

These will include the presentation of the Global Citizen Prize, the Global Citizen NOW Leadership Summit; the 10th Anniversary Global Citizen Concert in both New York and Africa, and the Global Citizen G20 Summit, which will be held in Bali, Indonesia.

“We join Global Citizen in continuing our stewardship to ensure a better world and future for all,” said President Ramaphosa in announcing his support for the campaign. “The past two years have highlighted the devastating impact on 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.”

South Africa’s Tshepo Mahloele will serve as the patron of the campaign in Africa and will serve alongside Sandiaga Uno, Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy. Mahloele is the Chairman and Founder of Lebashe Investment Group, a leading African Investment company focused on Financial Services & TMT industries. He is also the Founder of Harith General Partners. Harith General Partners is the leading Pan-African investor and developer of infrastructure across the continent.

“I am honoured and humbled to play a meaningful role that supports existing global efforts to deal with vaccine equity, 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 MahloeleChairman and Founder of Lebashe Investment Group.

“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.” President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo.

“Zambia is ready to collaborate with the global community on critical deliverables that will ensure we effectively address several socio-economic challenges in order to lift citizens out of extreme poverty. We are especially encouraged by Global Citizen’s sense of urgency in this campaign,
and we extend our willingness to support these efforts.” President of the Republic of ZambiaHakainde Hichilema

“It is alarming to learn that even during the Covid pandemic, the very rich have been getting richer and the very poor, poorer. This is untenable and a threat to the future of mankind. Global Citizen is right, we must be our brothers’ keepers. We must act right now!” Foreign Minister of NigeriaGeoffrey Onyeama.

“We are excited to be supporting Global Citizen in its campaigning efforts this year especially on climate change. Rwanda has placed green growth at the center of creating sustainable jobs, improving communities’ livelihoods and enhancing climate resilience across the board, and Global Citizen is an important channel for people to effect positive change. Its advocacy role can also raise global awareness to act on the challenges that Rwanda and other developing nations face because of climate change.” Minister of Environment of RwandaDr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya

Throughout 2022, Global Citizen will also 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 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,” says 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 100 million more people have been pushed into extreme poverty. 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 the most powerful 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 with developing countries, strengthening health systems for delivery of vaccines and other medical tools, and investing so there is enough capacity across continents to produce at least 16B 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.

Cutting across all our work throughout the year is a strong commitment to defend and promote advocacy, ensuring that marginalised 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 behavioural actions 365 days a year. Starting today, people everywhere can take action by calling on political representatives to fulfil the promises they made and End Extreme Poverty NOW.    

Planned events:

●  The Global Citizen Prize Awards Ceremony will return on May 22 to honour 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.

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