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Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans in conversation with Global Citizen Ambassador and music artist Usher at the dinner in Davos.
David Biedert
OpinionEducation

Building a Shared Future in a Fractured World Starts with Education and Health

Last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Global Citizen and Credit Suisse hosted a dinner to announce the launch of a new report about ending extreme poverty. In conjunction, Julia Gillard, the chairperson of the Global Partnership of Education and former prime minister of Australia, and Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director of the World Health Organization, wrote an opinion piece first published by Devex.com. Here is the first section of that piece and a link to the full report by Credit Suisse and Global Citizen.


It’s that week again. When the world’s corporate and political leaders gather in Davos for the World Economic Forum.

This year, the theme “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World,” captures a vital and challenging task. We only have one planet, so military conflict, economic crises, poverty, and climate change are everybody’s business.

We have both been involved in the running of large countries, as prime minister of Australia and as health and foreign minister of Ethiopia, respectively. Our two nations are very different in many respects, but we have both seen firsthand that what creates a shared future for a nation is to invest in its people. If you provide everyone with affordable health care and education, then you drive up economic growth and drive down inequity and poverty. In doing so, the damaging political and economic fractures in a society are reduced.

If all children were to leave school with the ability to read, there would be a 12 percent decrease in global poverty levels.

Both of us have left our governments to lead global efforts to invest in health and education because we strongly believe that such investments are essential to solving the enormous challenges the world is facing over the coming years.

Investing in education and health is not charity. If we did not know this already, a report released by the advocacy group Global Citizen and the bank Credit Suisse at Davos reminds us of two vital statistics. First, if all children were to leave school with the ability to read, there would be a 12 percent decrease in global poverty levels.

Second, according to the Education Commission’s 2016 Learning Generation report, a dollar invested in an additional year of schooling, particularly for girls, generates earnings of $10 in low-income countries and nearly $4 in lower-middle income countries. For every $1 allocated to childhood immunizations, there is a $44 net return rate on investment. And the world’s top economists estimate that every $1 spent on health yields up to $20 in full-income growth within a generation.

Click here to continue reading the full opinion piece on Devex.com.

Click here to read the report "Eradicating Extreme Poverty" from Global Citizen and Credit Suisse.

Global Citizen - Usher, Kweku Mandela, Hugh Evans, more - Davos 2018.jpgImage: David Biedert