On September 17, the Global Citizen held its first concert in Canada, to end AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. The night was a fantastic finale to the Global Fund’s Fifth Replenishment Conference, hosted by Prime Minister Trudeau.
On the day of the concert, donors pledged over $12.9 billion USD for the next three years, which will save 8 million lives, avert 300 million infections, and help build resilient and sustainable systems for health. The concert brought together world leaders, activists and international artists to galvanize and celebrate this extraordinary global commitment toward ending the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.
Yet it was more than an impressive celebration of a historic commitment. It was a vital show of support. The support we need if we are to end these devastating diseases together. The concert was attended by 12,000 Global Citizens and thousands more took part in a social movement in support of our shared vision of a world free of the burden of AIDS, TB, and malaria.
By engaging young people, this inspiring event celebrated the power of the human spirit to effect positive change. At a time of great social and economic change, we must not allow fear to turn our attention either backward or inward. The concert was crucial in rallying public support, so that together, we can end AIDS, TB, and malaria. For good.
The Global Fund has partnered with the Global Citizen Festival in New York and we have seen firsthand how Global Citizen has incentivized action by thousands of young people to effect change and celebrate their generation’s opportunity to change the course of history. With this track record, we knew that Global Citizen would be the right organization to partner with on a large scale concert, to inspire and energize young people to actively engage in the opportunity to end these devastating diseases for good. We were not wrong.
The concert provided a high-profile platform for three major commitments that contributed to the phenomenal $12.9 billion USD total, each of which were reaffirmed on stage at the concert; the Government of Canada committed $804 million CAN, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation committed $600 million USD, and finally, Comic Relief committed $12.75 million USD.
Thanks to the tireless work of partners around the world, programs supported by the Global Fund have saved 20 million lives, and counting. But we can’t stop now. If we continue to build on this progress and energize the next generation to be a force for positive change, then this can be the generation that can finally end these epidemics once and for all. The evening of Sept. 17 was just the beginning and we will continue to engage Global Citizens around the world to help end these devastating diseases.
A heartfelt thank you, to Global Citizens, and all at the Global Fund. Keep up the good work.