In 2008, Hugh Evans, Simon Moss and Wei Soo co-founded Global Citizen, a movement to reduce global poverty and create lasting change. Global Citizen is working to end extreme poverty by 2030 by mobilizing people around the world to use their “collective voice” to garner change. These are four ways Global Citizen helped reduce poverty in 2021.
4 Ways Global Citizen Helped Reduce Poverty in 2021
- Global Citizen Live: 24-Hour Concert. Global Citizen helped reduce poverty in 2021 on September 25, 2021, by hosting a 24-hour-long concert to raise awareness on the inequality of vaccine distribution and the extreme famine caused by the increasing spread of COVID-19. Highlights of the event include performances by Billie Eilish, Elton John, Jennifer Lopez, Ed Sheeran and Coldplay. Interestingly, the event’s main aim was not just fundraising but rather using “participation as evidence for world leaders that people support bold action on the issues.” These efforts proved successful as several leaders and companies announced their pledges. USAID Administrator Samantha Power stated the U.S. would pledge more than $295 million to fight hunger and address gender-based violence and other humanitarian issues brought about by COVID-19. Lego and Verizon also committed to donating to the cause of ending global poverty. Global Citizen was able to fundraise $1.1 billion to help fight poverty in the most vulnerable countries.
- VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World. On May 8, 2021, this Global Citizen event brought together various “big names,” such as Jennifer Lopez, Joe Biden and Prince Harry, pledging for help to end vaccine inequities in vulnerable countries during COVID-19. However, the televised event was not live, but rather, pre-taped. Fortunately, the event was able to raise $302 million from “several philanthropic and corporate commitments,” exceeding the event’s fundraiser goal. With this money, Global Citizen was able to obtain 26 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for impoverished countries.
- Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100. On December 8, 2018, Global Citizen hosted a festival in Johannesburg, South Africa, honoring the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela. Mandela’s vision for global peace and equality remains a struggle that Global Citizen is trying to achieve. More than 70,000 Global Citizens, world leaders and music artists attended the festival in hopes of making a difference in the fight against global poverty. At the event, “Global Citizen and its partners announced key pledges across Health, Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH), Food Security, Agriculture, Environment, Education, Finance and Innovation.” In 2021, Global Citizen used about $783 million of $7.2 billion raised through commitments made during the 2018 event to improve the lives of 12.4 million additional people. In total, since the event in 2018, Global Citizen has brought positive impacts to 117.8 million people.
- Global Goal: Unite for Our Future. On June 27, 2020, Global Citizen held a benefit concert with music performers and world leaders to help raise awareness about the hardships impoverished countries are experiencing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With Dwyane Johnson as the host, the event included performances by Coldplay, Chris Rock, Shakira and more. This concert was integral considering that the world hunger rate rose to 690 million people in 2020. Fortunately, in February 2021, Global Citizen distributed the $1.4 billion fundraised during Global Goal to support organizations playing an integral role in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, such as UNICEF, the Global Fund and the World Health Organization. In particular, the U.S. pledged $545 million at the event, a pledge that is now “supporting COVID-19 response efforts in 120 countries” through USAID and the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control.
Since its inception, Global Citizen has hosted many events to help the organization reach its goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030. With the help of motivated leaders and individuals using their voices to express the change they want to see in the world, Global Citizen has garnered significant support from the international community to contribute to the cause. Through generous donations, Global Citizen is able to positively impact the lives of millions of people in disadvantaged countries.
– Kayla De Alba