The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed millions of people into hunger, forced more than a billion children out of school, made communities more vulnerable to climate change, and deepened inequalities.
Equitable recovery is key to ensuring the world doesn’t undo years of progress in the fight to end extreme poverty. That’s why Global Citizen is launching the year-long Recovery Plan for the World campaign and series of events to end COVID-19 for everyone and kickstart a global recovery.
With support from European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, and the World Health Organization, the Recovery Plan for the World aims to end COVID-19 for all, end the hunger crisis, resume learning everywhere, protect the planet, and advance equity for all. As part of the campaign, commitments from governments, philanthropists, and the private sector — and the actions of everyday Global Citizens — will be crucial to get the world back on track to achieve the United Nations’ Global Goals by 2030.
The Recovery Plan for the World is a continuation of the impact achieved through our One World: Together at Home and Global Goal: Unite for Our Futurecampaigns and broadcast events in 2020, which resulted in more than $1.1 billion being disbursed to support the pandemic response through the equitable distribution of COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines for everyone, everywhere.
“I am incredibly proud of Global Citizen’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, but massive inequalities remain and we urgently need to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines are made available equitably,” said Hugh Evans, co-founder and CEO of Global Citizen.
A virus anywhere remains a virus everywhere, and our goal is to unite world leaders, artists and entertainers, philanthropists, and CEOs to end COVID-19 for all and kickstart a global recovery.
Hugh Evans, Co-founder and CEO of Global Citizen
“Our Recovery Plan for the World sets a clear agenda that will inspire millions of citizens to advocate for five of the most critical health, social and economic challenges that currently face humanity, as a result of the pandemic,” he said. “A virus anywhere remains a virus everywhere, and our goal is to unite world leaders, artists and entertainers, philanthropists, and CEOs to end COVID-19 for all and kickstart a global recovery.”
This year, in partnership with global CEO advisory firm Teneo, we’re bringing the Recovery Plan for the World to life with a series of pledging moments and global events to unite world leaders, artists and entertainers, philanthropists, and business leaders toward achieving the campaign’s goals in 2021.
Learn More: Recovery Plan for the World: A Campaign to End COVID-19 and Kickstart a Global Recovery
The campaign will be supported by three major events — a global broadcast special in May, Global Citizen LIVE in September, and Global Citizen at the G20 Summit in October.
Global partners Citi, Cisco, the Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines, Google, P&G, and Verizon and campaign partners Live Nation and WW International will activate Global Citizens and engage the private sector to help make it happen.
What Does Global Citizen’s Recovery Plan for the World Entail?
The Recovery Plan for the World focuses on five “pillars” encompassing global health, food and hunger, education, climate and environment, and equity and justice — all of which need critical support if we’re to end the pandemic once and for all.
Pillar 1: End COVID-19 for All
To end COVID-19 for everyone, everywhere, more than $27 billion is still required to ensure at least 2 billion vaccines and other COVID-19 medical interventions are available to the poorest countries by the end of 2021.
In support of the ACT-Accelerator, a global partnership launched by the World Health Organization to fight COVID-19 through the development and equitable distribution of COVID-19 care and prevention, we’re calling on all wealthy countries to donate excess vaccine doses to other countries in need. This will help guarantee that vaccines are made available to everyone globally before vaccine-resistant variants emerge and spread.
Pillar 2: End the Hunger Crisis
Meanwhile, the number of people facing hunger is expected to double as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To end the hunger crisis, we’re calling for commitments toward closing the financial gap for programs that work to reduce food waste, support smallholder farmers, and aid in delivering healthier and better school food programs to children of all ages. We’ll advocate for an increase in longer-term investments to ensure food systems remain resilient and production isn’t disrupted during the recovery process.
Pillar 3: Resume Learning Everywhere
The pandemic has also forced many children around the world to learn remotely, but an overwhelming number still don’t have access to the educational tools they need to thrive. At least $300 million is needed to support millions of marginalized children’s access to quality and inclusive education, school means, empowerment for girls and children with disabilities, mental and physical health programming, teacher training, technology, remote learning resources, and more.
We’re calling on governments, businesses, and philanthropists to increase investments in global education and ensure resources and action to prioritize the world’s most vulnerable learners, including children living through crisis and conflict, girls, and young learners who lack internet access.
Pillar 4: Protect the Planet
We’re running out of time to address the climate crisis, especially due to the pandemic’s setbacks. Not a single country in the world is taking sufficient action to stop climate change, and only a quarter of Fortune Global 500 companies have made a public commitment to become carbon neutral, use 100% renewable power, or meet a science-based emission reduction target by 2030.
We’re advocating for additional climate financing, supporting low-carbon economies and development, and promoting carbon neutrality, in line with preventing global temperatures from rising beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Our advocacy efforts will focus on supporting underserved communities and people living in extreme poverty.
Pillar 5: Advance Equity for All
None of this can happen if we don’t make sure that everyone is included in the global COVID-19 recovery.
Even before the pandemic, 5 billion people faced inadequate access to justice and 1.5 billion people had an unresolved justice issue. The global justice gap has only widened and the impacts of the pandemic on the most marginalized communities are only starting to be measured.
We’re calling on the private sector to lean in through transformative commitments to people-centered justice, gender equality, racial equity, the inclusion of people with disabilities, and support for human rights and justice defenders worldwide.
How Will We Achieve These Goals?
World leaders and heads of state have already shown their support for the campaign, including Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission; Amina J. Mohammed, deputy secretary-general of the United Nations; Erna Solberg, prime minister of Norway; John Kerry, former US secretary of state and diplomat and special presidential envoy for climate; Pedro Sánchez, prime minister of Spain; Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany; Cyril Ramaphosa, president of the Republic of South Africa; and Alexander De Croo, prime minister of Belgium. Leaders from Croatia, Ireland, El Salvador, Singapore, and more have also pledged their support.
“The urgency to get a vaccine to everyone and everywhere cannot be underestimated,” Ramaphosa said, adding: “We must ensure that no one is left behind.”
Von der Leyen said the European Commission is proud to support the campaign.
“Global Citizen has been a leading force in bringing together civil society and the private sector,” she said. “We need citizens of the world to mobilize again. We need out-of-the-box thinking, and using all means available.”
Musicians and leaders in entertainment, many of whom are long-time supporters of Global Citizen, are also using their platforms to show solidarity with the campaign. Billie Eilish, Coldplay, Femi Kuti, H.E.R., Hugh Jackman, Idris & Sabrina Elba, Jonas Brothers, Lang Lang, Lars Ulrich, Miley Cyrus, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Rachel Brosnahan, SuperM, Usher, and Yemi Alade, as well as Global Citizen Ambassadors Jill and Olivia Vedder, have all joined the effort.
Jackman and Eilish delivered messages at a press conference announcing the Recovery Plan for the World on Tuesday.
Jackman, who made an appearance with his X-Men castmates for the Global Goal: Unite for Our Future broadcast in June 2020, shared that the event mobilized $1.5 billion from 41 countries, but urged everyone to continue taking action.
“We need to come together — every single person,” he said. “COVID has wreaked immense damage — social, economic, environmental — and the progress toward the Global Goals has been stalled. In some cases with extreme poverty, they’ve actually been reversed, but together we can do a lot.”
Eilish also rallied her fans to help speed up COVID-19 recovery.
“We’ve got to take action to get everyone access to COVID-19 vaccines as quickly as possible,” Eilish said. “At the same time, we’ve got to actively address the climate crisis, and strive to curb CO2 emissions and protect biodiversity.
“I want to ask all of my fans to join me and take action in support of this campaign,” she added. “We need to call on the government leaders, corporations, and philanthropists to make commitments so the world can recover from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The sooner we take action together, the sooner we’ll be able to get back to life and seeing live music.”
In a press release, Chopra Jonas said collective action can make a difference.
“While COVID-19 has touched every individual on the planet, the pandemic’s impact on the most vulnerable — especially those living in extreme poverty — has been devastating, leaving people worse off than they were, even just a year ago,” Chopra Jonas said.
She added: "By using our voices to call on world leaders, corporations, and philanthropists to step up and take urgent action, and by supporting the Recovery Plan for the World, we can impact millions of lives for the better now, not later."
A coalition of the world’s leading companies, in partnership with Teneo, has joined the campaign, too.
Citi, Cisco, the Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines, Google, Live Nation, P&G, and Verizon have agreed to engage the private sector in support of the campaign. Co-chairs Chuck Robbins, chairman and CEO of Cisco; Hans Vestberg, CEO of Verizon; Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines; James Quincey, chairman and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company; Marc Pritchard, CBO of P&G; Michael Rapino, CEO of Live Nation; and Jane Fraser, incoming CEO of Citi, will lead their respective sectors to step up in-kind and value chain support and investment for the campaign. Lorraine Twohill, CMO of Google, and Mindy Grossman, CEO of WW International, will also be supporting leaders.
“The private sector plays a critical role in ending the COVID-19 pandemic and getting the world back on track to solving some of our most pressing challenges,” said Declan Kelly, Teneo chairman and CEO and Global Citizen board member. “Teneo is incredibly proud to partner with Global Citizen on this historic campaign alongside many CEOs who have also committed to tackling the urgent challenges facing humanity. In addition to our role helping lead the campaign, we are calling on more companies to join our coalition to help end the COVID-19 pandemic and advance progress and recovery across the globe.”
Recovery Plan for the World campaign partners include the World Health Organization (WHO); the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI); Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria; the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator; the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND); UNITAID; the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR); the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); World Food Programme (WFP); Education Cannot Wait (ECW); Green Climate Fund; Global Access Fund; Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC); the Legal Empowerment Network (convened by NAMATI); Outright Action International; and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
"The world must come together to build a durable response to COVID-19 to ensure communities are protected from future emergencies, build resilient systems to withstand shocks, and can reap the benefits of truly sustainable growth," said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization.
What Are the Key Moments of the Campaign?
May 2021 - May Broadcast Special
A global broadcast event in partnership with the European Commission, the World Health Organization, and Italy as the presidency of the G20, the global broadcast special will focus on equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, and increasing vaccine acceptance and uptake. The special will also call for the strengthening of global health resilience and will aim to inspire Global Citizens to take action in helping to alleviate hunger and disparities in education, climate, and equitable access to justice. The special will air in May 2021, and the lineup and additional details will be announced in the coming weeks.
September 2021 - Global Citizen LIVE
Global Citizen LIVE is a multi-hour global event that will feature a blockbuster lineup of artists, with performances from all over the world, including Lagos, New York City, Paris, Seoul, and Sydney. Centered around achieving Global Citizen's Recovery Plan for the World, Global Citizen LIVE will take place on Sept. 25, 2021. Global Citizen LIVE is a Teneo and Global Citizen partnership and is supported by Live Nation, SM Entertainment, UAE Nation Brand, the Sydney Opera House, Access Bank, and more. More details, including the lineup, will be announced in the coming months.
October 2021 - Global Citizen at the G20 Summit
Global Citizen at the G20 Summit, a global moment jointly hosted by the Italian G20 Presidency and the European Commission. Global Citizen at the G20 Summit will engage world leaders, organizations, and advocates in a discussion about progress made toward the Recovery Plan for the World with an emphasis on climate change ahead of COP26. The summit will occur in Rome, Italy, on Oct. 30 and 31, and additional details will be released in the coming months.
How Can You Take Action?
You can learn more about the Recovery Plan for the World campaign, join the Global Citizen movement, and take action now by visiting globalcitizen.org/2021.
And follow Global Citizen on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to ensure you don’t miss any future Recovery Plan for the World announcements.