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What the commitments made at the Global Citizen Festival mean for youth

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At the Global Citizen Festival, world leaders including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solbergcame on stage to make financial and policycommitments

What I discovered was incredible! Not only are young people going to be affected by the various pledges made by these world leaders, but they are also the segment of the world’s population who will be MOST IMPACTED.

There are four main areas of focus that garnered massive commitments for youth during the Global Citizen Festival: Water and Sanitation, Education, Child Health, and Youth and Adolescent Rights. Let me explain to you just how big of a deal these commitments are when it comes to young people.

Water and Sanitation

Global Citizens have taken a total of 65,000 actions geared towards water and sanitation. This inspired some pretty big companies to get involved as well.

Proctor & Gamble, Unilever and Sesame Street in total pledged US $15.5 billion, and the World Bank made an outstanding commitment of US $15 billion! In countries like India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, students will be taught about the importance of clean water, sanitation and hygiene practices.

In Nigeria and Malawi alone, 40,000 school kids will learn about these issues.

Education

Right now, 58 million young people worldwide do not have access to an education. We, as Global Citizens, saw this problem and met it head on. Global Citizens have taken a total of 100,000 actions on universal education and world leaders, particularly those in Denmark, took notice.

Denmark increased their yearly commitment to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) by US $20 million, but that isn’t all. Helle Thorning Schmidt, Prime Minister of Denmark, announced an additional US $9 million to GPE programs at the Festival! This will support GPE’s efforts to get all young people, especially those in the world’s poorest countries, into school.

Hearing the message of Malala Yousafzai, Denmark also decided to contribute an additional $11 million to UNICEF Pakistan in order to help youth, especially girls, living in the tribal areas of northwest Pakistan into school.

Child Health

Global Citizens have taken 85,000 actions on Child Survival, focusing primarily on vaccines and immunizations. This prompted governments from Norway, Luxembourg and the United States of America to make a US $1 billion commitment.

By the end of 2020, 34 million youth will be vaccinated and protected from preventable diseases like polio and measles.

Youth and Adolescent Rights

Global Citizens have taken 55,000 actions in support of the rights of youth and adolescents. That’s 55,000 people who each made an impact for the future of the world’s youth.

Denmark heard your call for action and announced an additional commitment of US $15 million in 2015 to their Amplify Change Fund -- a fund that supports the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young women and works to protect women and girls from violence. It was first announced at the United Nations General Assembly, where Denmark pledged an initial US $14 million for this year.

That’s not all. The Danish Minister for Trade and Development, Mogens Jensen, announced that Denmark’s contribution to the United Nations Population Fund would amount to almost US $44 million!

These commitments will create massive strides in ensuring that every young person is able to determine their own future.

The commitments made at the 2014 Global Citizen Festival are nothing short of incredible! They will undoubtedly change the lives of millions of young people across the world -- but progress doesn’t stop here. There is a simple way that you can call for even stronger government investments in young people.

Go to www.showyourselfie.org and upload a picture of yourself to call on world leaders everywhere to put young people’s rights and needs at the heart of development. #Showyourselfie for youth today!

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Nina Stein