Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, announced a new €140 million commitment for food security ahead of Global Citizen Live, a once-in-a-generation, 24-hour global broadcast event that aired on Saturday, Sept. 25.
The ground-breaking commitment was made following an appearance on MSNBC show, Morning Joe, alongside Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans. The European Commission pledge came as the first official commitment as a result of the Global Citizen Live campaign, calling for urgent action to defend the planet and defeat poverty.
"The EU has stepped up," said Evans during the program. “The €140 million commitment is pledged to CGIAR, a global partnership of organizations dedicated to building food security. The funding will help the organization continue their work addressing rural poverty and transforming food, lands, and water systems during the climate crisis.”
It was lovely meeting @GlblCtzn CEO @Hughcevans at @Morning_Joe— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) September 21, 2021
Looking forward to #GlobalCitizenLive in Paris on Saturday!
The world needs to come together & step up efforts for a fair recovery.
At #GlobalCitizenLive the EU will pledge a new €140 million for food security. pic.twitter.com/1G61t0i2vO
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of millions of people were already suffering from hunger and malnutrition. The pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity in resource-poor countries and disadvantaged communities, rapidly unravelling a decade of progress on hunger and leaving one in every nine people, or 821 million people worldwide, undernourished.
The pandemic has further stalled decades of progress on all 17 of the United Nations’ Global Goals — which work to end poverty and its systemic causes, such as gender and race inequalities, climate change, food insecurity, and more — pushing an estimated 150 million more people into extreme poverty globally.
Since the pandemic began, Global Citizen has urgently campaigned to mobilize millions of COVID-19 vaccines, and rally support to address the ongoing impacts of the pandemic on the world’s most vulnerable communities.
“NGOs like Global Citizen are kind of civil society at its best," said von der Leyen during her appearance on Morning Joe. "I like to work together with Global Citizen because they have a unique capacity and capability to unite people, rally for a good cause," she continued. "They nudge us, sometimes they push us hard but that's good — if we want to overcome the crisis, we have to team up.”
During the program, von der Leyen also highlighted Global Citizen’s efforts to hold global leaders accountable on commitments. “[Global Citizen] is also keeping track of what has been pledged and then has been delivered," she said. "You don't only want to have announcements, but you really need the delivery on the ground."
After any commitment is made during one of our major events or as a result of Global Citizen’s campaigning and Global Citizens all around the world taking action, Global Citizen holds commitment makers accountable, ensuring funds are allocated and received by beneficiaries on the front lines following strict accountability criteria.
During Global Citizen Live itself, von der Leyen reiterated the European Commission pledge, again announcing the €140 million pledge toward CGIAR on the stage of Global Citizen Live in Paris, in addition to a €25 million commitment to Education Cannot Wait, an organization dedicated to transforming the delivery of education in emergencies to children around the world.
“A Global Citizen is aware of the fact that we all share one planet, one health, one common destiny — and that every one of us matters,” said von der Leyen, in support of the campaign. “Everyone can make a difference, by working together, finding global solutions to global problems with unity, cooperation, and solidarity.”
« Nous ne pourrons améliorer le monde que si nous nous unissons. @GlblCtzn a réussi à rallier un nombre important de personnes. Ce qui se passe ce soir à Paris est phénoménal, c’est formidable. » @vonderleyenpic.twitter.com/J9YH2MFWw8— Global Citizen Impact (@GlblCtznImpact) September 25, 2021