The 2022 Global Citizen Festival celebrated 10 years of festivals and united changemakers and leaders on the global stage on Sept. 24 in NYC, Accra, and broadcasts around the world to address the world’s most pressing issues and pledge billions toward solving them. 

Thanks to our partners and supporters, we saw more than $800 million announced to end extreme poverty NOW and $1.6 billion announced by the European Commission and Canada for the Global Fund, amounting to a total of $2.4 billion announced. Five companies also signed onto the UN-led Race to Zero initiative to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. That’s a whole lot of change. 

Our 2022 campaign garnered a record amount of support, with Global Citizens taking 2 million actions toward our End Extreme Poverty NOW campaign, more than doubling our previous record. In response, world leaders from Canada, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, the United Nations, the US, and the European Commission announced their own commitments to the fight against extreme poverty.

You can read more about our impact here.

From leaders committing to fight climate change to monetary pledges made toward empowering girls and ending extreme poverty on the African continent, this year's festival and campaign platformed dire global causes affecting billions of people worldwide. But as always, there’s still so much more work to be done

So, as we wrap up this festival season and look back on the amazing performances and commitments that swept the stages in Accra and NYC, let’s continue this amazing momentum as we head into the G20 and COP27 summits in November. 

Here’s how world leaders pledged to end extreme poverty on the Global Citizen Festival 2022 stage. 

Joe Biden, President of the United States and Jill Biden, First Lady of the United States

US President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden joined the Global Citizen campaign this year (once again) for a joint video message where they championed climate action. 

“It’s great to join you for the 10th year of this festival. Thank you for building this movement and making big things happen,” said President Biden, a supporter and repeated guest of Global Citizen Festivals over the years. 

“From every corner of the world, people are speaking up for the future of our planet,” the first lady said. “We’re inspired and grateful for all the work you’ve done, and we want you to know your fight is our fight.”

“Last month I signed the biggest climate bill in history — the biggest ever — $369 billion to slash emissions by nearly half, improve health, advance justice, and build a clean energy economy and create generations of good paying jobs," President Biden continued. "And this past week the Senate ratified the historic Kigali Amendment to phase down the use of super-polluting hydrofluorocarbons.

“This is a whole new chapter for America and for the planet. Now we have to do a lot more. I pledged $11 billion a year to help poor countries fight climate change. Working with Congress with your help we can get this done." 

Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Minister of International Development of Norway

“For the last eight years, hunger and food insecurity have been steadily increasing. That is unacceptable. The African continent is where we find the largest number of people without enough to eat. We cannot allow that to continue. Africa could be the world’s breadbasket. Instead, it imports food for more than $40 billion every year. That is $40 billion that could be spent on schools, roads, and hospitals. It’s time to reverse this trend," Tvinnereim said.

Norway committed NOK 100 million toward the African Development Bank’s Africa Emergency Food Production Facility.

“We call on all other governments to follow our example,” she added while announcing Norway’s pledge. “The solution lies in Africa’s fields, farms, lakes, and oceans. The African continent must feed itself, and together we can put an end to hunger.”

Emmanuel Macron, President of France

“We have to fight hard against the consequences of the war and against all the existing and future inequalities,” Macron said in a video message to the audiences of Global Citizen Festival: Accra and Global Citizen Festival: NYC. “And fighting hard means unlocking billions and mobilizing our energies and our finances toward poor countries to deal with climate change, to deal with [the] pandemic and health difficulties, and to fight against inequalities.

“We need your help, I need your help — you can count on me. We will fight against inequalities for the common good,” he said while urging everyone to call on their leaders to deliver funds to lower-income nations. 

France pledged to reallocate 30% of the country’s Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to fight extreme poverty and inequality.

Svenja Schulze, German Minister for Cooperation and Economic Development

“Education is vital for self-determined and fulfilling lives,” Schulze said. “In crisis regions alone, there are 222 million boys and girls who have no access to quality education. In [these] regions in particular, young people need opportunities for the future. This is especially important for girls. Education helps to protect them from poverty, forced marriage, early pregnancy, and gender-based violence. 

“Global Citizens, thank you for raising your voices to call for more support for this important initiative. Take action so that all children in the world will have access to more quality education; this will enable us to end extreme poverty — now,” she added. 

Germany,on top of its previously committed €200 million to Education Cannot Wait, pledged an additional €10 million to the fund to support the rebuilding of the Ukrainian education sector.

Micheál Martin, Taoiseach of Ireland 

“The need for urgent action has never been more clear. Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals is being imperiled by overlapping global crises,” Martin said. “We need to be more effective in linking our development, humanitarian, and climate actions.

“This is a fight we can win, if leaders have the political will to do so,” he said following the announcement of his country’s commitment to fight hunger.

Ireland pledged an additional €50 million to fight child malnutrition over the next three years, on top of its pledge of €800 million to combat malnutrition and hunger over five years. Ireland also announced a 30% increase to their pledge to the Global Fund.

Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of Spain

“As we leave the pandemic behind, we cannot forget the lessons learned,” Sánchez said in a video message. “We saw the global impact of the uneven access to the tools to respond to it; we suffer the consequences of natural disasters and climate change on a daily basis. We have seen the connections, links between war and food insecurity. We have witnessed the impact that any crisis has on gender equality, as poverty does — and today, more than ever, we have to stand for the rights of girls and young women.

“The climate emergency is the crisis of our time, we need to do much more,” he continued. “Every minute counts. We should remain optimistic; a lot can be achieved if we work together with determination.

“The time to act is now. Global Citizen [Festival] brings us together so we can join forces. Together, we become stronger, we can act faster, and we will be held accountable,” he said in his call to action. 

Spain continued to show its commitment to our missions by announcing its support for Global Citizen’s End Extreme Poverty NOW campaign 

Liesje Schreinemacher, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

“Each and every person has the right to adequate food, and to ease the current food crisis we must all increase our efforts,” Schreinemacher said. “We must act now to ensure a brighter future for all.” 

The Netherlands committed €25 million toward food and nutrition security in 2023, adding to the €425 million budget announced earlier this year to be doled out in the next five years.

Flemming Møller Mortensen, Danish Minister for Development and Nordic Cooperation

“This week at the UN General Assembly, we have discussed climate change, food insecurity, conflicts, and extreme poverty — all these crises hit women and girls the most. We have known that for a long, long time, but we are still far behind in responding to women and girls’ needs, and ensuring their rights, including the rights to decide over their own body.

“Without bodily autonomy and access to contraception we will not achieve gender equality. Without investing in women and girls’ rights we will not get the world we want,” he said while announcing Denmark’s pledge. 

Denmarkcommitted $17 million to United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) supplies and $30 million to UNFPA over the next year as part of its broader, renewed three-year partnership with the health agency to invest directly into women and girls’ rights.

Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Global Citizen Board Member and Former Executive Director of UN Women

“Four years ago, this festival was held in South Africa, my country, during the Mandela 100. We raised $7.2 billion. Global Citizen has already disbursed $4.7 billion to 117.8 million people,” Mlambo-Ngcuka said, thanking President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo for hosting Global Citizen Festival: Accra.

“Today we are raising another fund, the African Prosperity Fund, which will work with the African Continental Free Trade Area and support entrepreneurs and traders across the continent.

“We want to see an engagement that will grow our economies. We want to be the future we want. We know a lot depends on us, Africans, taking the first step and making sure we deliver for our people. Join us in this endeavor — support this fund,” she said.  

The African Prosperity Fund (APF) aims to support projects across the African continent that include women and youth, as well as education, health care, technology, and sustainability. To capture its progress in the coming months and years, Global Citizen has developed an accountability plan with the APF.

Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana

"I thank the Global Citizen team for holding this fantastic and impactful festival in partnership with the Government of Ghana, here at the Black Star Square, a place symbolizing national unity, freedom from oppression, and justice for all," President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo said on the Global Citizen Festival: Accra stage.

"Extreme poverty is on the rise, inequality is growing, and our planet is heading toward a dangerous tipping point as a result of climate change — developments which have been exacerbated by the effects of COVID-19 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine."

He explained the "limited window of opportunity" to lift millions of people out of poverty, and called on the youth of Africa to use their creativity, knowledge, reach, and energy to find innovative solutions.

"I'm delighted to announce, together with my brother and respected colleague from South Africa, President Cyril Matamela Ramphosa, my co-champion in African prosperity, the launch of the Africa Prosperity Fund — the $1 billion African fund for Africans, by Africans. It'll fund strategic and transformational projects on the continent, in the areas of infrastructure development, financial access and participation of women and youth, education, health care, technology, and sustainability so that we leave no one behind in Africa."

Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania

“It is in the interests of people to make sure that poverty is eradicated. Their safety depends on world leaders’ decisions and these decisions must primarily serve those most in need,” Čmilytė-Nielsen said. “Russia’s war against Ukraine has an enormous effect on many areas, including food security, and has already raised poverty around the world. We have to act now and to take action together so that our global security architecture is protected.

“Poverty has no borders. The commitment to bring normal life back to the people of Ukraine is vital. We want to see everyone safe,” she added.

“The fight against poverty is our common responsibility. The dangers of wars have a major impact on millions of people, but long-term differences will be made step by step. One good deed leads to another. Our actions must speak even louder than our voices,” she said, while reminding everyone that taking immediate action is urgent in order to secure a safe and prosperous future. 

Lithuania announced it would be committing €11 million in funding toward rebuilding infrastructure including schools, homes, and a bridge in Ukraine.

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“This commitment is about getting the world back on track to ending HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria,” Trudeau said in his announcement. “We know that’s key to getting the world to a healthier, better place, particularly after the past difficult years that we’ve had.

“We need to step up even more than before. Understand yes, the pressures we’re facing around oil and gas prices, around inflation, around global food insecurity, around climate change — and that’s why we have to be even more resolved than ever before."

“I think citizens truly understand that yes, governments still need to be there for them with investments to help with living costs, the energy crisis, the fight against climate change. But at the same time, global issues have global solutions. We must continue to be there for them around the world, otherwise there will be no better future for anyone,” he said. 

Canada highlighted its CA$1.209 billion commitment made at the seventh Global Fund replenishment on Sept. 21.

Alok Sharma, President of COP26 

“Friends, Global Citizens, we are facing a climate crisis,” Sharma said. “We see its impact in countries around the world, in Pakistan, across Europe, and indeed here in the United States. The world’s most vulnerable communities on the frontlines of climate change are facing the harshest consequences.

“The UK’s COP26 presidency has been driving ambitious action to ensure that we keep alive the prospect of limiting the rise in global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels,” Sharma continued. “And all of you Global Citizens have a vital role to play. Keep holding governments and businesses to account. Together we can deliver for our precious planet.”

Sharma called for continued efforts on the climate front in a pre-show video message. 

Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations

“Climate change adaptation is an urgent global problem which requires global solutions,” Ban said. “World leaders need to drastically step up their efforts for a healthy, sustainable, and prosperous future. We need to see a significant increase in financial and political commitments toward climate adaptation and not only mitigation, including innovation and research [into] agriculture, food insecurity, and more.

“Today, I hope to witness the power of activists, youth and alike, to turn the tide and influence governments to take action,” he said in a pre-show video address. 

Ban renewed his call to action, echoing his message shared on the Global Citizen Live stage in 2021, and urged world leaders to step up and pledge their support.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO)

“I join our partners today in calling on governments and other donors to be ambitious and generous in their place at the World Health Summit next month so the Global Polio Eradication Initiative can reach its $4.8 billion funding goal to eradicate polio by 2026,” Dr. Tedros said. 

“Polio affects primarily the most marginalized of the world, those living in the poorest and least developed areas. In a highly connected world, polio anywhere is a threat everywhere,” he added. 

“The challenges we face are political. What is required is full political commitment from leaders around the globe to fully implement the proven tactics and strategies that lead to eradication. So, it’s our choice whether to eradicate polio or not, to ensure that no child will ever again be paralyzed by polio.”

Dr. Omnia El Omrani, COP27 Youth Envoy

“As young people, especially in Africa, where 420 million youth live, we have seen and felt the detrimental impact of climate change on our communities,” said Omrani, the recently elected COP27 youth envoy from Egypt. “With 43 days to go until 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.

“As the first ever COP president envoy on youth, I invite you to join us in the call for climate justice, and to integrate youth-led voices as natural partners,” she said.

Ann Wagner, Congresswoman of the US House of Representatives

“Throughout my time in Congress, I’ve been proud to work with advocates on important issues like fighting human trafficking, protecting vulnerable populations worldwide, and helping lift families out of poverty,” Rep. Wagner said. 

“We have a responsibility to help those in need and I will always fight to protect those who cannot protect themselves,” she added.

Charlie Dent, Former Congressman of the US House of Representatives

“Today unites millions of people around the world calling for change and demanding that world leaders take action now to make meaningful improvements in the lives of the world’s poorest,” former Rep. Dent said in a video message at Global Citizen Festival: NYC.

“I’m pleased to see continued bipartisan American leadership on lifesaving issues like fighting tuberculosis, AIDS, and malaria via the Global Fund, helping to end polio, COVID-19 vaccine inequity, and tackling food insecurity,” he said.

Dent has joined the Global Citizen Festival stage three times in the past 10 years to show support for our missions. 

John Curtis, Congressman of the US House of Representatives

“Congratulations, Global Citizens, for your 10 years of festivities and hard work. I’m so grateful for the work that you do, particularly given COVID-19 and the many things happening around the world,” Rep. Curtis said. 

“Your work is more important than ever,” he continued. “I’m also very appreciative of your work that you do with climate and as the founder of the conservative climate caucus, I’m absolutely convinced that we can find bipartisan solutions to make this earth a better place to live.”

Jamie Raskin, Congressman of the US House of Representatives

“We need to continue to mobilize our people for strong political action to save the environment. I’m proud of what we’ve been able to do in Congress recently to lower greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, but we continue to need people all over the country to engage in both political action and legal action,” Rep. Raskin said in a video message. 

“The problem is that when people bring lawsuits to vindicate environmental justice rights and the protection of the environment the big corporations will turn around and sue people simply for asserting their rights,” he explained, referencing pending legislation covering strategic lawsuits and SLAPP suits.

“Thanks for everything you’re doing across the country and in New York in order to save the environment and let's make sure we save democracy and the environment together because we can’t save one without the other,” he said. 


Demand Equity

Global Citizen Festival 2022: 21 World Leaders Pledge to End Extreme Poverty NOW

By Kate Nakamura