Just over a year on from Global Citizen’s June 2020 Global Goal: Unite for Our Future broadcast event, $1.4 billion of the US$1.5 billion announced during the summit is supporting millions of people around the world in the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, 100% of philanthropic funding, and 98% of corporate funding also announced at the event is confirmed as being wholly distributed to key organizations on the front lines of the global COVID-19 response.

Global Citizen, the European Commission, musicians, and partners co-led the two-part event — featuring a summit and a concert — which aired in over 180 countries on June 27, 2020.

At the time of the campaign, more than 220 COVID-19 vaccine candidates were in development, many of which would fail. The economic and social impact of the pandemic was growing, devastating communities, and putting tens of millions of people at risk of falling into extreme poverty.

By the end of 2020, the number of people experiencing hunger would also rapidly rise to 690 million. A decade of progress toward the United Nations’ Global Goals was seriously under threat, and still is today.

In February this year, Global Citizen reported that $1.1 billion in funding mobilized at Global Goal: Unite for Our Future had been disbursed. Now, $1.4 billion in funding is helping numerous global organizations — like UNICEF, the Global Fund, World Health Organization (WHO), and the global vaccine-sharing mechanism COVAX — in their work to support, implement, and advance measures to put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are some of the highlights that funding mobilized through Global Goal: Unite for Our Future has helped achieve.

The US pledge is supporting COVID-19 response efforts in 120 countries.

The US$545 million pledge made by the United States at Global Goal: Unite for Our Future has been fully disbursed, aiding both USAID and CDC’s Global COVID-19 response. USAID has contributed billions to fight COVID-19 in more than 120 countries, providing emergency relief, health worker protection, and vaccine distribution. As COVID-19 variants continue to spread and vaccinations continue, this funding is delivering urgent assistance tailored to the specific needs of vulnerable communities based in sub-Saharan and North Africa, Latin America, Europe, Eurasia, and the Middle East.

More than 100% of philanthropic and corporate funding is championing health equity.

The goal of health equity is to ensure that everyone has equal access to health care worldwide. It also means understanding and addressing the obstacles to health, like poverty, which create barriers to well-being. In the 15 months since Global Goal: Unite for Our Future, Global Citizen’s philanthropic and corporate partners have gone above and beyond, over-delivering by a million dollars on the original amount pledged during the event.

Much of this funding has gone to support global health initiatives and systems that support vulnerable communities and global health equity. All funding pledged by the Minderoo Foundation, FIFA Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Google, a private Swiss foundation, SAP, Procter & Gamble, Verizon, Citi, Johnson & Johnson, Takeda, Colgate Palmolive, ISH, Markit, and Rickett Beinheiser has been delivered to partners in full.

Canada is continuing to provide critical support to frontline organizations.

The Canadian government has programmed CAD$300 million in funding to key partners, including The Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, CEPI, and the Global Fund thanks to a commitment made during Global Goal: Unite for Our Future. A portion of this funding is also helping the World Food Programme minimize the impact of COVID-19 on food security, and UNFPA Supplies to deliver contraceptives and life-saving maternal medicine to women and girls.

Team Europe leads on a global response to COVID-19.

Financial agreements have been reached with 29 countries totaling €3.2 billion in concessional loans and guarantees, as part of the pledge made by the European Commission and European Investment Bank at Global Goal: Unite for Our Future. The remaining €1.7 billion will be spent on projects and operations by 2021. Additionally, €1.8 billion has been reported to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as Overseas Development Aid. This commitment is part of the broader Team Europe Global Response to COVID-19 which, as of April 2021, has disbursed nearly 65% of the committed $40 billion in response to the worldwide crisis.

Portions of outstanding funding announced at Global Goal: Unite for Our Future from Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, and Canada have yet to be completely disburse to beneficiaries. Global Citizen remains in close contact with each commitment make, and expects a majority of the remaining $100 million to be delivered by the end of the 2021, in addition to a commitment made by Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) which will be disbursed during next 5 years.

In the global effort to eradicate COVID-19, GAVI, COVAX, The Global Fund, and WHO remain the important players.

As of Oct. 18, 2021, GAVI has shipped 371 million COVID-19 vaccines to 139 countries in desperate need, thanks in part to funding mobilized during the Global Citizen event. Funding from Global Goal: Unite for Our Future is also helping the Global Fund to continue in its COVID-19 response around the world, while also responding to AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. Pledges have helped the Global Fund to deliver support to 106 low- and middle-income countries, purchase 10 million diagnostic tests and personal protective equipment (PPE), and ensure the delivery of medicines and critical supplies while supporting local health systems.

Additionally, funding secured for the WHO COVID-19 Solidarity Fund is continuing delivery of PPE, emergency services, and aid for key organizations like the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP), and others in their work to protect everyone, everywhere from the pandemic.

Exports of vaccines will resume at Serum Institute of India.

After the Indian government halted COVID-19 vaccination deliveries in March 2021, the Serum Institute of India was unable to supply additional doses of COVID-19 beyond the 30 million reported by Global Citizen in February. As of October 2021, exports will resume, and Serum Institute expects to significantly increase supply in low- and middle-income countries.

Global Citizens, we have a chance to make history. ​​

The rise of new variants means that leading health organizations like WHO, COVAX, and others will need to continue to work urgently to secure COVID-19 vaccines, as demand for protection grows in countries that are yet to receive their first doses. Global herd immunity and a return to normal means addressing the vast inequities that still exist across vaccine distribution and health care access. By taking action on the Global Citizen platform for Global Goal: Unite for Our Future, Global Citizens helped mobilize critical pledges that are right now supporting multiple organizations’ response to COVID-19 around the world.

Climate change, pandemics, and hunger are global challenges that require a step change in financing. One solutions is Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), and the world’s leaders now have an opportunity to reallocate their SDRs to poorer countries, generating at least US$100 billion in the short term.

This year, Global Citizen’s Global Citizen Live 24-hour global broadcast event on Sept. 25 represented a call to action for global leaders to step up to defend the planet and defeat poverty — now, not later.

Vaccine equity gaps between wealthy and poor countries still persist as we approach the end of 2021. Low-income countries lag behind in their vaccination programs, leaving populations vulnerable to surges in infection rates and COVID-19 variants. The issue of vaccine equity should stay at the top of the agenda as long as vulnerable populations stay unvaccinated, and paramount to ensuring a truly equitable global recovery from the pandemic.

It is imperative that the world's leaders continue to respond to ensure no one is left behind by the COVID-19 pandemic, while remaining firmly focused on tackling vaccine inequity and injustice. Now, Global Citizen is actively calling on the world’s leaders to respond ahead of the G20 Leaders' summit in Rome on Oct. 30, and the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November this year.

Now, more than ever, the voices of Global Citizens matter. Eradicating extreme poverty requires international cooperation, solidarity, and a shared understanding in order to overcome the systems and beliefs that create it.

You can join the Global Citizen 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.


Defeat Poverty

‘Global Goal: Unite for Our Future’: Funding Announced for Global COVID-19 Response Reaches Frontline Organizations

By Camille May