Global Citizen Festival generates $2.4 billion in pledges

NEW YORK (AP) — The 10th anniversary Global Citizen Festival, which included performances by Metallica, Mariah Carey and Usher, generated more than $2.4 billion in pledges to fight extreme poverty and disease.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and others addressed the crowd gathered in Central Park at New York and Black Star Square in Accra, Ghana for nine hours on Saturday.

“Amid all the doomsday messages we hear today, the hope lies in millions of citizens rising up to take action, more than at any other time in history,” said Hugh Evans, CEO of Global Citizen, at the event. “Ending extreme poverty is not a partisan issue, and those who need it most cannot be treated as political pawns. Our job is not to let our leaders forget that.

What sets the Global Citizen Festival apart from other fundraisers is that tickets to the event are not for sale. To attend, supporters must give time to take a variety of actions – from signing petitions to calling on or messaging world leaders on social media to address issues – during a six-week campaign. This year’s campaign generated more than two million actions, more than double the previous record for the nonprofit.

International leaders announced new policies at the festival, influenced, in part, by Global Citizen supporters. French President Emmanuel Macron has confirmed that he will reallocate 30% of his country’s special drawing rights reserves from the International Monetary Fund to the world’s poorest countries, particularly in Africa, to help fund anti-corruption projects. against extreme poverty and climate change. The governments of Ghana and South Africa have announced the creation of the $1 billion African Prosperity Fund, to finance infrastructure, technology and sustainability projects across the continent.

Rotary International President Jennifer Jones announced a commitment of $150 million over three years to fight polio through the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, which is part of the work of the organization of services against the disease since 1985.

“Quite honestly, until everybody’s protected, nobody’s protected,” Jones told The Associated Press in an interview. “And now we see that a state of emergency has been declared in New York and the vaccine-derived polio case has entered here, it’s close to home. I think that’s a bit of a wake-up call for a lot of people who’ve been like, ‘Well, that’s something that’s gone’. Why do we even need to vaccinate our children?’ »

Jones said she wanted to announce Rotary International’s new commitment during the 10th anniversary of the Global Citizen Festival, as the organization made a similar announcement during the first festival.

“They have millions and millions of citizens of the world and we have 1.4 million citizens who are doers, doing things every day on the ground,” Jones said. “So the ability for us to take our activated populations and show that we want to help and help people understand what they can do to make a difference, it’s just a great synergy between our two organizations.”

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