Right now, COVID-19 is leaving the world’s most marginalized and vulnerable communities on the brink of starvation, homelessness, joblessness, inequity, and ill health.

Worldwide disruption caused by the pandemic is impacting the daily lives of those who already face, or experience, extreme poverty around the world. But still there’s hope, with urgent work going on around the world to alleviate the impacts of the pandemic for the most vulnerable.

Now, just over six months since Global Citizen’s June 2020 Global Goal: Unite for Our Future broadcast, almost $1.1 billion — 72% — of the $1.5 billion in mobilized grants is currently supporting millions of people around the world.

The funding is directly helping countless global organizations on the front lines of the pandemic — like UNICEF, the Global Fund, and the World Health Organization (WHO) — in their work to provide and distribute testing, treatments, and vaccines to those who need them most.

From ensuring the distribution of 8,800 thermosphere tests to hospitals in Nigeria, to providing grant support for minority-owned businesses in New York State, funding mobilized by the urgent actions of Global Citizens is having a real and lasting impact on communities and individuals around the world.

Outlined in a special report published by Global Citizen on Friday, the six-month impact of the Global Goal: Unite for Our Futurecampaign — which featured the broadcast of The Summit and The Concert — on the fight to end extreme poverty amid COVID-19 has been astonishing.

Commitments secured at Global Goal: Unite for Our Future — The Summit, have enabled UNICEFNigeria to provide 124,800 COVID-19 test kits, five oxygen concentrators and 1,500 personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, and 8,800 thermosphere tests to communities.

UNICEF has also been able to distribute 9.2 million bars of soap across 14 countries, including 300,000 to Lebanon in September.

More than 6 million children’s lives are set to be impacted by the commitments pledged toward Education Cannot Wait (ECW) during the event, providing urgent access to education as well as critical resources like school meals, mental and physical health support, access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene, technology and digital learning, and more, to children in the most vulnerable countries amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and beyond.

A commitment from Google toward the WHO is combating COVID-19 misinformation across the world as part of the “Stop the Spread” global campaign.

The funding has also helped the Global Fund to respond rapidly to COVID-19, providing millions of tests and PPE to vulnerable communities, while enabling the rapid adoption of HIV, TB, and malaria programs across the world.

In the six months since the 2020 event, the WHO has also delivered hundreds of millions of pieces of PPE and test kits to more than 162 countries, including 191.3 million medical masks, 18.9 million respirators, 8.4 million face shields, 30.8 million gloves, 5.2 million gowns, and 1.4 million goggles.

The more than $14 million in pledges mobilized for the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) through Global Goal: Unite for Our Future have helped the organization continue to expand urgent COVID-19 vaccine research, development, and manufacturing capacity. Additionally, over $30 million mobilized for COVAX — a global initiative aimed at ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines — has enabled the initiative to pre-purchase additional COVID-19 vaccine doses and help support vulnerable populations.

Funding mobilized from Global Goal: Unite for Our Future has also contributed to the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) pooled New York State Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF) to help deliver 659 loans — averaging $48,173 — to women and minority-owned businesses located across 49 counties in New York State; emergency financial assistance to small businesses struggling to bring critical support to women and minority-owned businesses; and grant support to Black female entrepreneurs.

The European Commission and European Investment Bank pledged €4.9 billion in loans and guarantees as of the biggest commitments of the event. Right now, almost €2.7 billion of that pledge has been signed to support the world’s most fragile economies in recovering from COVID-19 and achieving the UN’s Global Goals, in the mission to end extreme poverty.

Combining policy and entertainment, Global Goal: Unite for Our Future aired on June 27, 2020, in more than 180 countries, featuring appearances and performances from artists including Shakira, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Dwayne Johnson, Coldplay, and more. The Summit featured critical pledges and special appearances from all G7 member states, ECOWAS, and many global leaders and representatives from philanthropy and the private sector.

From 2020 to 2021, this funding is providing equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines, and supporting the world’s poorest and most marginalized communities through the impacts of the pandemic.

Throughout 2021, many will face new financial, social, and health challenges, with the pandemic highlighting and heightening existing inequalities and extreme poverty.

Now, more than ever, the voices of Global Citizens matter. Eradicating poverty requires international cooperation, solidarity, and a shared understanding in order to overcome the systems and beliefs that create it. Global Goal: Unite for Our Future demonstrated that, even amid a pandemic, when the world works together in solidarity towards a common goal, impact towards the UN’s Global Goals and the mission to end extreme poverty is achievable.

In response to the urgent and ongoing effects of COVID-19, on Feb. 23, Global Citizen will launch a five-point plan as a roadmap to prosperity and recovery during and following the pandemic, prioritizing health, hunger, education, environment, and equity.


Demand Equity

Over $1 Billion of 'Global Goal Unite' Funding Is Now Protecting Millions of People From COVID-19 Impacts

By Camille May