Defending the planet and defeating poverty are more urgent than ever in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Upwards of 160 million people are expected to be pushed back into extreme poverty, tens of millions of people are on the brink of famine, more than a billion children are out of school, and inequalities have deepened as a result of the crisis.

Ahead of October’s G20 Summit and the major climate conference COP26 in November, Global Citizen is hosting Global Citizen Live, a 24-hour worldwide broadcast event beginning on Saturday, Sept. 25, with events and performances filmed across seven continents, as part of our Recovery Plan for the World campaign to end COVID-19. 

We’re calling on Global Citizens to urge governments, corporations, and philanthropists to make swift changes before it’s too late to protect vulnerable communities worldwide and achieve the United Nations’ Global Goals by 2030. 

Helping to end the pandemic will require donating at least 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to those most in need by September and mobilizing financial support to ensure that response efforts are inclusive. The international community must also mobilize the funds for famine relief efforts and the urgent provision of millions of meals to revert the hunger crisis affecting 41 million people. We’re also calling for $400 million to be contributed toward education, to help resume education by getting 4.5 million kids most in need back to learning.

And to combat climate change, we’re urging the world’s largest companies to join the Race to Zero this year, to contribute to saving and restoring billions of trees, to commit to becoming carbon neutral, and to develop verified science-based targets to reach net zero emissions in line with the Paris agreement.

Here are 10 actions you can take right now to support the Global Citizen Livecampaign in the lead-up to the once-in-a-generation event in September. 

Want to earn a chance to win free tickets to Global Citizen Live and see your favorite artists? Learn more about how to take action and get tickets to our Paris event here and our New York City event here.  

Defeat Poverty for All

1. Learn how Global Citizen changes the world.

Global Citizen is a movement of engaged citizens who are using their collective voice to end extreme poverty by 2030. The pandemic has disrupted life for many and consequences for those already living on the edge of poverty are more dangerous than ever. Fleeing conflict or humanitarian disasters, the effects of COVID-19 could be catastrophic for millions facing poverty. 

Take this quiz to learn more about what Global Citizens have achieved so far to make the world a better place for all — and be inspired to power the movement with us! 

Support COVID-19 Vaccines and Recovery for All 

2. Urge leaders to start sharing doses and support increased manufacturing to save lives.

As countries across North America and Europe begin reopening, COVID-19 continues to threaten the well-being of the rest of the world. Millions of lives are at risk and the longer the virus is left to spread, the higher the chances of a mutation that current vaccines can’t protect against. 

Wealthy nations must share more of their unused vaccine stocks now to bring the pandemic under control everywhere and ensure we don’t go back to square one. Send an urgent email calling on rich countries to commit to an equal recovery for all. 

3. Tell world leaders to support COVID-19 vaccine access for all.

To support a speedy global COVID-19 recovery we need to distribute vaccines against the virus everywhere. Sign this petition to tell world leaders and pharmaceutical companies to make COVID-19 vaccines and other tools accessible to everyone. 

4. Quiz yourself on why vaccine sharing is important.

The pandemic doesn’t respect borders and we must be united in our response. People in low-income countries are struggling to access life-saving vaccines. Take this quiz and learn why hoarding vaccines has devastating global consequences. 

5. Tell the African Union to commit to spend SDRs on replenishing COVID-19 vaccines.

Across the African continent, one of the regions hardest hit by the pandemic, Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) can be used to finance vaccine purchase and boost COVID-19 recovery. It’s up to African leaders to commit to spending the funds effectively. Send an urgent tweet to the African Union asking it to commit SDRs to fight the pandemic. 

Promote Access to Education for Everyone, Everywhere

6. Quiz yourself on how COVID-19 is deepening the education crisis for children in poverty.

Hundreds of millions of children were already out of school before the COVID-19 pandemic and now almost 10 million more children are at risk of missing out on an education. Take this quiz to see what you know about the impact of the education crisis on children. 

7. Tell the US Senate to help all children #ReturnToLearn.

US leaders have an opportunity to safeguard the future of underserved children around the world. Sign the petition urging the US senate to invest in education for children living in poverty.

Stop World Hunger

8. Stand with farmers on the front line of the climate crisis.

Climate change and extreme weather threaten access to healthy meals for billions of people. Europe can help fund farmers to grow nutritious crops able to withstand droughts, floods. and more. 

Email European leaders in countries including Norway, the Netherlands, the UK, Germany, and the EU Commission to help farmers fight the climate crisis now. 

9. Stop millions of people from going hungry.

Right now 41 million people are sitting on the verge of starvation due to conflict, climate change, economic shocks, and the COVID-19 pandemic and it could be a famine, according to the World Food Program. Affluent G20 countries can save millions of lives if they just contribute a small portion of their wealth to fund life-saving meals. Send an e-mail to key G20 decision-makers asking them to help fight an impending famine.

10. Learn how the UN’s Food Systems Summit will impact your food.

Widespread food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed how quickly people can go hungry. Take this quiz and learn how the UN Food Systems Summit, taking place later this year, will impact your food.

11. Share a video explaining what good food means to you, and join the global conversation.

The United Nations will host the first summit to transform how we think about food and the way it is produced, processed, and consumed in September. Share a video about why good food is important in the world. 

Empower Women and Girls 

12. Tell US President Biden to #ReclaimTheGains for women’s and girls’ health!

COVID-19 has disproportionately affected the health of women and girls around the world. The pandemic has seen a drop of up to 25% in coverage of lifesaving interventions across some of the most disadvantaged countries, causing millions of women and children to miss out on vaccinations, nutrition interventions, and childbirth care. 

Write a letter to the Biden administration to contribute $100 million to the $1.2 billion shortfall in funding to ensure that women, children, and adolescents get the support they need to thrive.

13. Call on world leaders to #ActForEqual for gender equality.

Not a single country has achieved gender equality and the COVID-19 pandemic has only stalled progress. Call on leaders to #ActforEqual for gender equality by making concrete policy and financial commitments. 

14. Help get more women on Wikipedia.

Women make up more than half the global population and are on the front lines of the pandemic, but their stories don’t receive equal attention in the media. Share the name of a notable woman to submit to Wikipedia. 

15. Urge leaders to approve plans to plant 1 billion trees in US national forests.

Trees help tackle climate change and protect biodiversity, but the US has destroyed 75% of its natural forests. US President Biden and US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry could help approve plans for 1 billion new trees to be planted for US national forests. 

Send a personal message to Biden and Kerry now, urging them to be defenders of nature.

Protect the Planet

16. Call on world leaders to help stop the climate crisis.

Climate change has displaced millions of vulnerable people worldwide and is causing mass flooding, fires, and superstorms. If we can mobilize support for climate change action, we can convince leaders worldwide to act. Sign this petition to call on government leaders to do their part to reduce climate emissions.

You can join the Global Citizen Live campaign to defeat poverty and defend the planet by taking action here, and become part of a movement powered by citizens around the world who are taking action together with governments, corporations, and philanthropists to make change.


Demand Equity

Global Citizen Live: 16 Actions You Can Take Now to Defend the Planet and Defeat Poverty

By Leah Rodriguez