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Finance & Innovation

Want to boost your faith in humanity? Listen to what global citizens had to say to the US State Department

European Commission DG ECHO

"Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but here's my number, so call me maybe"

Sorry for giving you musical flashbacks to 2012, but stay with me for a second. Yesterday, Global Citizen launched the 2015 edition of the annual Global Citizen Festival, and the response was a bit... "wow!". 

To be in the running for tickets to the festival, global citizens have to take actions such as signing petitions, sending tweets and sending emails (check out the full explainer on how people get FREE tickets here). This year, Global Citizen thought it’d raise the bar, and wondered whether people would be willing to jump on the phone. No, not to call me (maybe), but to call the State Department and demand strong action. Uncharted waters. But instead of backing down, global citizens stepped up in a big, big way, and the response was heard loud and clear.

One of the first actions that global citizens are required to take to win tickets to this year’s festival is a phone call to the US State Department, calling on the Administration to commit 50% of its foreign aid budget to the poorest countries - an increase from roughly 30%. 

These Least Developed Countries (LDCs)  are the nations most stricken by extreme poverty. They have the most difficulty raising revenues to pay for schools, hospitals, roads, and feeding hungry people. That is why the international aid they receive is so vital. Because it has a domino effect that allows them to invest in basic social services, calm conflict and violence, grow their economies, and attract other sources of funding, spurring a cascade of improved living standards. 

YOUR calls are making this happen. Global Citizen has already received incredibly positive feedback from the US State Department who have heard the voices of passional global citizens and will continue to monitor those phone lines and make sure everything is running smoothly. 

As an example of how active global citizens are, yesterday, the US State Department had to empty their voicemail box 12 times because of the volume of calls received! (translation: they definitely noticed they were getting calls) This is truly an incredible feat and it’s only getting started. 

The most touching part of yesterday, however, was listening to some of those voicemails. It would have been easy to simply call, recite a script, and hang up. But so many global citizens went above and beyond. The level of sincerity and care in their voices brought tears to my (and many of my colleagues) eyes. This is why my colleagues and I come to work every day. This is why my faith in humanity is constantly restored and why I have hope that the world will achieve the Global Goals that will guide international development over the next 15 years.

Have a listen to a few of the voicemails that touched us the most. Everyone needs to continue to care, to be the generation that commits to ending extreme poverty, reversing climate change, and making sure every person is given an equal chance.  

If you want to add your voice to this call for targetting US aid to the people who most need it go to TAKE ACTION NOW to call the US State Department. 

(If you're not on a mobile interface, you can go to this link for more information on how to take the call)

Editor’s Note: Each voicemail is played here with the express consent of the caller. Global Citizen will never publish any messages without explicit consent from the caller.