The Global Citizen campaign to End Extreme Poverty NOW marked a major milestone at the live and broadcast events Global Citizen Festival: NYC and Global Citizen Festival: Accra, on Saturday, Sept. 24, during which key commitments were announced as we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the festival’s impact and advocacy, through the hard work of many partner organizations.
The 2022 Global Citizen Festival saw more than US$800 million announced to end extreme poverty NOW and US$1.6 billion announced by the European Commission and Canada as part of the seventh replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria on Sept. 21, in addition to the announcement of five companies signing on to the UN-led Race to Zero initiative to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
Of this funding, more than US$440 million was earmarked exclusively to initiatives to end extreme poverty on the African continent, with the remainder intended to reach people around the world, including across Africa.
The Global Citizen Festival campaign announced commitments by world leaders and governments in support of ending poverty now, including Canada, Belgium, Denmark, the European Commission, Germany, Ghana, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, United Nations, and the United States.
“It’s great to join you on the 10th year of this [Global Citizen] Festival,” US President Joe Biden said in a video address to Global Citizens on Saturday. “Thank you for building this movement and making big things happen.”.
From around the world, messages of support for Global Citizen’s End Extreme Poverty NOW campaign were received by President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, President of France Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sánchez, COP27 Youth Envoy Dr. Omnia el Omrani, Taoiseach of Ireland Micheál Martin, Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros, COP26 President Alok Sharma, Former Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, US Rep. Jamie Raskin, US Rep. Ann Wagner, and US Rep. John Curtis.
“This is a fight we can win if leaders have the political will to do so,” @GlblCtzn's agree! Thank you @MichealMartinTD 🇮🇪 for your continued support of #GlobalCitizenFestival and commitment to #EndExtremePovertyNOWpic.twitter.com/rg70pUHZ0v— Global Citizen Impact (@GlblCtznImpact) September 24, 2022
Financial and policy announcements were also made by many corporate, philanthropic, and NGO partners including Accenture, Cisco, Citi, Delta, the Dutch Postcode Lottery, Ford Foundation, Gavi and Girl Effect, the Global Menstrual Equity Hygiene Accelerator, Lego Foundation, Procter & Gamble, Rotary International, Verizon, WWT, YouTube and Google.org.
“Amidst all the doomsday messages we hear today, hope lies in the fact that millions of citizens are rising up to take action, more than any other point in history. 10 years ago, Global Citizen was just an idea – and 10 years from now we’ll see a generation of Global Citizens running for office, starting companies, and transforming communities,” said Hugh Evans, Co-Founder and CEO, Global Citizen.
In support of the Global Citizen campaign to defend the planet and take climate action NOW, five businesses officially signed on to the Race to Zero campaign to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 as a part of Global Citizen Festival, including American Eagle Outfitters, Betterfly, Harith General Partners, Juan Valdez Café, and WWT.
Global Citizens have taken more than 2 million actions with Global Citizen in 2022 to help achieve Global Citizen’s mission to End Extreme Poverty NOW, more than doubling the record previously set by the international advocacy organization.
“With 43 days to go to COP, we need countries to move from pledges to implementation — as youth we have a critical role to play in making sure our nations do not backtrack on their promises,” said Dr. Omnia el Omrani, COP27 youth envoy, in a video message to Global Citizens at Global Citizen Festival.
With stages in Accra and New York, the event captured the Global Citizen ethos, channeling an eclectic array of musical talent in support of our efforts to End Extreme Poverty NOW and build momentum ahead of the G20 summit and UN Climate Conference, COP27, both in November.
Leaders from both the public and private sectors, along with activists and advocates at the forefront of global movements for justice, inspired the tens of thousands of gathered fans and millions of more people who followed the broadcast and will continue to take action in the months ahead.
“WHO is fully committed to working with all our partners to consign polio to the history books so that no child will ever again be paralyzed by this virus” Thank you @DrTedros, @GlblCtzn's stand with @WHO in the fight against polio #GlobalCitizenFestivalpic.twitter.com/tm1eRYH6r1— Global Citizen Impact (@GlblCtznImpact) September 24, 2022
While people danced and cheered to their favorite songs, this year’s campaign revolved around major financial commitments for our primary objectives: empowering women and girls, supporting smallholder farmers and curbing the global hunger crisis, strengthening health systems, providing urgent relief from debts unjustly crushing economies, and defending advocacy and civic space.
Policy and financial commitments to the total of US $2.4 billion were announced over the course of the campaign, thanks to partnerships between government, philanthropy, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector.
“Looking back at the last 10 years of Global Citizen, we have achieved so much, but in order to truly see progress, the very architecture of the system must be changed,” said Global Citizen Chief Policy, Impact, and Government Affairs Officer Michael Sheldrick, addressing the audience at Global Citizen Accra. “This is why we need you all to keep raising your voices, calling on world leaders to take action.”
Global Citizens have been working to eliminate extreme poverty for more than a decade, taking more than 30.4 million actions over 10 years to help change more than 1.15 billion lives around the world.
As part of a celebration of 10 years of Global Citizen impact, the 2022 Global Citizen Festival honored five stories and partner-led campaigns that demonstrate the power of action and impact from across the world.
Global Citizen worked with partners including the World Health Organization (WHO), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), Education Cannot Wait, the Global Partnership for Education, Save the Children Colombia, Yuva Unstoppable, Global Citizen International Festival Curator Chris Martin of Coldplay, La Casa de Don Pedro, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and IFAD Goodwill Ambassador and Global Citizen Advocate Sabrina Dhowre Elba.
Policy partners supporting the campaign include: Action Against Hunger, ALLIED, BRAC, Ban Ki Moon Center for Global Citizens, Center for Environmental Peacebuilding, CGIAR, CIVICUS, charity: water, Conservation International, EarthRights, Education Cannot Wait, Focus 2030, Ford Foundation, Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia, Freedom House, Front Line Defenders, Fund for Global Human Rights, Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, Gerando Falcões, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, Global Health Advocates France, Legal Empowerment Fund, International Disability Alliance, IFAD, International Organization for Migration, International Rescue Committee, International Service for Human Rights, LISC, Namati, NPX, One Acre Fund, OutRight Action International, Pandemic Action Network, People’s Vaccine Alliance, Peace Boat, Re:wild, Rotary International, Science Based Target initiative, Social Gastronomy Movement, UN Foundation, UNFPA, UN Joint SDG Fund, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, World Benchmarking Alliance, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, World Health Organization, and WHO Foundation.
"We have to fight hard against the consequences of the war and against all the existing and future inequalities. And fighting hard means unlocking billions and mobilizing our energies and our finances for poor countries…” - @EmmanuelMacronpic.twitter.com/iRhSi4N6yn— Global Citizen Impact (@GlblCtznImpact) September 24, 2022
This year’s campaign called on leaders to urgently recover gains in the fight against poverty that were lost amid the COVID-19 pandemic and evolved in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which continues to cause catastrophic harm to the Ukrainian people and worsen the global hunger crisis.
"Tonight we have shown the world that Africa has so much to offer and build toward, but there must be action to build a level playing field and to commit to fair and equitable inclusion at all levels of society,” said Kweku Mandela, Chief Vision Officer at Global Citizen, from the Global Citizen Festival: Accra stage.
It’s beach cleanup day!— Global Citizen Africa (@GlblCtznAfrica) September 17, 2022
Thank you to all the incredible Global Citizens that joined us today to clean up both Chorkor Beach and Teshie Sango Beach 🙌 pic.twitter.com/WjSAM8RzWB
In the days leading up the festival, Global Citizen staged multiple moments and events to spur world leaders to invest in our campaign priorities. On Sept. 15, Global Citizen placed 1,000 empty plates with messages on a lawn across from the United Nations to highlight the global hunger crisis and demand immediate funding. On Sept. 23, we teamed up with YouTube for a climate action summit that brought together activists, advocates, and influencers to think through the challenges of sustainability that we face.
A few weeks ago, we asked global citizens to share with us how the hunger crisis has impacted their communities. Each plate shared one of these stories. pic.twitter.com/boZ2QBfh5R— Global Citizen ⭕ (@GlblCtzn) September 15, 2022
Earlier this year, on April 9, Global Citizen convened the the Stand Up for Ukraine pledging event in Warsaw, Poland, in partnership with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, announcing US$10.1 billion in new cash grants and loans to support those who had to flee their homes in Ukraine.
Following the Stand Up for Ukraine global social media rally on April 8 — in which activists, advocates, and more called on world leaders to pledge their support for those forcibly displaced in Ukraine and globally — Global Citizen held the first Global Citizen NOW thought leadership summit on May 22 and 23, bringing together more than 200 leaders from across the private and public sectors to defeat poverty and protect the planet, including Pharrell Williams, US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, science educator Bill Nye and more. Summit participants set the stage for action and campaign mobilization ahead of the Global Citizen Prize, in June, and the Global Citizen Festival, on Sep. 24.
World Leaders and Global Citizen Advocates Call for Climate Action at Global Citizen Festival
Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda and Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States Gaston Browne, and Vanuatu President Nikenike Vurobaravu addressed the audience from the Global Citizen Festival: NYC stage calling on world leaders to commit to creating an official loss and damage response fund ahead of COP27 in November.
“I am calling on the UN to adopt a new system that would look beyond merely income, and to adopt a multi-dimensional vulnerability index that takes into consideration the vulnerability and resilience of small island states,” said Prime Minister Browne.
“It’s a story we’ve seen play out on the world stage time and time again: poor countries paying the price for wealthy nations’ errors,” added Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley. The Barbados leader called on wealthy countries to reallocate Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) for COVID-19 relief, and multilateral institutions to provide at the very least the $100 billion promised for adaptation for climate vulnerable countries.
From the Global Citizen Festival: Accra stage, Jeff Radebe, Global Citizen ambassador and Special Envoy to the African Union for President Cyril Ramaphosa, announced an update on South Africa's efforts to accelerate the replacement to renewables, with a call to action for the world to take bold action against climate change.
And Shamma al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth of the United Arab Emirates, noted youth voices are calling for climate action, announcing the UAE’s full support for the inclusion and empowerment of youth in climate action, in the context of its role as COP28 host in 2023.
Lego Foundation Pledges Millions to Education Cannot Wait to Help Children in Crisis
From the Global Citizen Festival: NYC stage, the Lego Foundation announced a groundbreaking commitment of US $25 million to Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the United Nations global fund to support children affected by emergencies and crises. In June, ECW launched its global campaign and report, #222MillionDreams, calling for urgent action to support and address the global education crisis, and help the 222 million school-aged children affected by crises around the world today keep learning in safe environments with quality education.
“In honor of the announcement of the Education Cannot Wait replenishment on the Global Citizen Festival stage, the Lego Foundation is proud to be back in Central Park to commit our support of the fund’s next cycle,” said Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO of the LEGO Foundation from the New York stage. “We keep coming back to make sure children in crises have access to education opportunities — thank you to all the Global Citizens who keep this high on our agendas.”
European Commission and Canada Announce Pledges in Advance of Global Citizen Festival at Global Fund Replenishment
On Wednesday, Sept. 21, the Global Fund hosted its seventh replenishment conference calling on world leaders to urgently mobilize US $18 billion to save 20 million lives over the next three years, announcing US $14.25 billion as a result of the event.
Global Citizen called on the world’s wealthiest governments to increase their contributions for the next three years by 30%. As part of the campaign, the European Commission and Canada stepped up and increased their overall contributions by 30%. Global Citizen will continue advocating for this increase and is expecting the governments of the United Kingdom and Italy to follow the example set earlier this week.
Global Citizen has included these contributions in the overall financial tally for this campaign only where the Global Fund and respective governments have acknowledged the impact of Global Citizens.
“Thank you to the Global Citizens here today and to those watching around the world. Your actions were pivotal in rallying Canada, Germany, France, Japan, the European Commission and other countries to step up alongside many companies and philanthropists,” said Executive Director of the Global Fund Peter Sands, from the New York stage. “And we're not done yet! United Kingdom, Italy — we're looking at you! Global Citizens can help ensure that more donors join us in reaching our $18 billion target!”
GlobalGiving Regional Response Network Mobilizes Support for Sub-Saharan Africa
As part of the Global Citizen Festival campaign, Global Citizen partnered with GlobalGiving to create a Regional Response Network across sub-Saharan Africa made up of vetted NGO partners, selected based on their ability to achieve tangible outcomes to achieve the objectives of our End Extreme Poverty NOW campaign.
“We have a limited window of opportunity to act decisively to lift millions of people out of poverty, promote inclusiveness and equality, and safeguard the health of our planet,” said H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana. “Each one of us has a sacred and moral obligation to bequeath to the next generation a healthy planet, free from poverty, conflict, discrimination, hunger and disease. I call on the youth of the world, especially, and, in particular, the youth of Africa, to play an active role in achieving the SDGs. The world needs your creativity, knowledge, reach and energy to help find innovative solutions to the challenges facing our world.”
These organizations are already working to change people’s lives and drive lasting impact among the most vulnerable communities. Donations totaled included a US $10,000 contribution by Sovereign Philanthropy.
The Global Menstrual Equity Accelerator Launches at Global Citizen Festival
Period poverty can have serious consequences on health and mental well-being, but with the launch of the Global Menstrual Equity Accelerator at the Global Citizen Festival on Saturday, this may be changing.
Globally, there are more than 500 million people experiencing period poverty. In the United States alone, one in five girls miss school or cannot participate in activities due to a lack of access to period products. Announced on the Global Citizen Festival stage in New York by Miss Universe Harnaaz Sandhu, and Women in Training, Inc. co-founders, Brooke and Breanna Bennett, the new Period for Change initiative is aimed at fighting the stigma associated with periods and the negative impacts of period poverty.
The accelerator will also work to influence policy, and secure the urgent resources needed to fight period poverty and provide education about periods worldwide.
Global Citizen Impact Funds Seek to Raise $25 Million to End Extreme Poverty
The Global Citizen Impact Funds are a series of transformational outcomes funds designed to accelerate progress toward achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals by linking funding with verified results.
The outcomes funds are collaborative donor funds that release donations after impact is achieved, directly tying funding with performance. This model catalyzes additional funding from impact investors, who provide the upfront capital necessary for implementing partners to deliver the programs and services.
Global Citizen and NPX selected five distinguished organizations that have spent years innovating, testing, implementing, and refining solutions, and they have ready-to-scale solutions that can each absorb at least US$25 million to US $1 billion across the sectors of education (International Rescue Committee); equity and justice (BRAC); food security and sustainability (One Acre Fund); health (The Global Fund in partnership with Malaria No More); and water/WASH (charity: water).
Global Citizen believes that this bold, innovative outcomes-based funding model will allow these organizations to scale solutions that work, transforming their trajectory and the impact they can achieve.
In the spirit of collaboration and solidarity, world leaders showed their support for Global Citizen’s mission to end extreme poverty NOW by announcing new financial and policy commitments.
The below announcements were mobilized through our corporate, philanthropic, and organizational partners to whom we are grateful for their support.
Global Citizens taking action is the core of our model. It’s what allows us to call on world leaders and decision makers to commit funds and resources to ending extreme poverty, the collective voice and power that drives our campaigns to empower girls and women, uplift small farmers, bolster public health systems, expand access to education, and accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels.
You can join the Global Citizen campaign to defeat poverty and defend the planet by taking action here, and become part of a movement of people just like you who believe in a better future.
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.