Joe Biden officially became the president of the United States on Wednesday — and now it’s time for us all to get to work.
We as Global Citizens have a lot to do. We’ve lost a lot of ground in achieving our mission of ending extreme poverty, especially in this past year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 has ravaged the progress being made to achieve the Global Goals and has increased existing inequalities around the world, including in the United States. Globally, 150 million people will be pushed back into poverty.
This is now, Global Citizen is campaigning for a recovery plan for the world that will allow people and the planet to recover better together.
This plan focuses on five areas where progress reversed this year: health, hunger, education, the environment, and equality. We look forward to working with President Biden and his administration to achieve these.
End the Pandemic
We know that no other progress can be made until we end the pandemic. And that means that testing, treatments, and vaccines are available to everyone, everywhere. To achieve this most effectively, the United States needs to rejoin the World Health Organization (WHO), and both the WHO and the ACT-Accelerator need to be fully funded. The ACT-Accelerator is the world’s comprehensive plan for reaching frontline workers and vulnerable populations with PPE, diagnostics, treatments, and an eventual vaccine.
Stop the Hunger Crisis
We’re working to stop the hunger crisis from growing further and wiping out decades of progress. This year alone, the number of people going hungry is projected to nearly double from 149 million to 270 million. That’s why Global Citizen is supporting efforts to deploy simple solutions like cash transfers, social protection programs, and school meals — all key to avoiding a hunger pandemic.
Get Children Learning Again
Every child deserves an education, and not just those who can afford remote learning. Some 1.5 billion kids have been out of school due to COVID-19, and almost a third of them have been unable to access distance and remote learning. Global Citizen will continue to support appeals for the most marginalized children to access learning materials, technology, connectivity, and schooling in the most challenging environments.
Reboot Environmental Action
If we don’t take urgent action on climate, we know that large parts of the planet will not be liveable in less than 30 years. Not making progress on climate will undermine food security but also health and other Global Goals. In 2021, Global Citizen wants to see the US re-enter and rejuvenate the Paris climate agreement to lock in far-reaching and ambitious commitments to significantly curb emissions.
Ensure Equity in Recovery Efforts
And finally, COVID-19 has exacerbated existing inequalities — racial, social, gender, economic, health. Given the challenges facing marginalized communities in all parts of the world, including America, we will encourage the wealthiest individuals and corporations to contribute to groups providing on-the-ground support, especially those focused on racial and gender equity.
Achieving all of these things will require new ways of funding.
Ending the worst of the pandemic for everyone will alone cost $38 billion, while addressing the hunger crisis is another $10 billion. These figures are staggering. But they remain less than 1% of the $18 trillion rich countries have spent trying to stimulate their economies. Meanwhile the wealthiest 400 Americans have seen their wealth skyrocket by billions, at a time when there is no shortage of need both here in the US and around the world that could benefit from this.
As you can see, we have a lot of work to do. As US and global poverty levels soar, Global Citizen looks forward to working constructively with the Biden administration to make critical progress in the fight to end extreme poverty.