Global Citizen’s ‘The End of Polio Concert’ Helps Drive Commitments Worth $118M
On October 28th, 2011 in Perth, Australia, Global Citizen put on a concert in which 5,000 people enjoyed performances from numerous prominent musicians including nine time Grammy award winner John Legend. Yet the concert had a purpose beyond the love of music — it was a rallying cry to world leaders to make commitments to eradicate polio.
The Concert was organized on the eve of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, urging commonwealth leaders to pledge new funding to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. The very next day, the leaders of Pakistan, Australia, Nigeria, United Kingdom and Canada (along with Bill Gates via video message) convened to pledge $118 million of additional funding for Polio eradication. Notably, then Australian PM Julia Gillard announced a $50 million commitment from Australia over the next four years.
The End of Polio concert was a crucial aspect of Global Citizen’s End Polio campaign. Hugh Evans, CEO of Global Citizen said: "The End of Polio Concert was a pivotal moment in the worldwide effort to create a world without polio.”
Indeed, it is not any gig when the Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd comes to the stage to announce his support for a Polio free world. The WHO later would describe this moment as marking a “turning point” in the effort to eradicate polio once and for all.