For the first time in a generation, the number of people living in extreme poverty is rising. The 2023 Global Citizen Festival campaign takes aim at the major issues perpetuating extreme poverty, including the impacts of climate change on the Global South, the inequities affecting women and girls around the world, and the global hunger crisis, and will call on governments to protect and defend advocates everywhere. The campaign will unite millions of voices, amplified by the world’s biggest artists, to demand urgent action from world leaders gathering in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly in September.
Women and adolescent girls around the world continue to face challenges including unequal access to education, access to quality healthcare, routine immunization, family planning support and menstrual products, impeding opportunities for economic empowerment and perpetuating the cycle of extreme poverty. According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), 257 million women globally want to avoid pregnancy but lack access to safe, modern contraceptives.
In order to meet this need, the UNFPA Supplies Partnership, which provides lifesaving sexual and reproductive health services, requires an additional $100 million from long standing gender equality champions including Norway, Canada, and Japan, which holds this year’s G7 Presidency, as well as businesses, and philanthropic foundations. Education Cannot Wait stands ready to provide quality education to 20 million children living through emergencies and protracted crises, but urgently needs another $670 million from governments such as France, Australia, Japan and Finland.
Climate change is ravaging the world’s most vulnerable countries, and the nations that contributed the least to the crisis are being impacted hardest. Continuing on the momentum generated at last month’s ‘Power Our Planet: Live in Paris’ event, this year’s Global Citizen Festival will pressure governments and Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) to urgently mobilize funding to enable climate-vulnerable countries to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change.
Italy, the U.S., the U.K. and Australia must deliver on their climate finance promises and help close the $16.7 billion annual shortfall; Germany and all MDBs must add pause clauses into new loan agreements should a developing country be struck by a natural disaster or pandemic; and the U.K., Brazil and the U.S. should agree to a new maritime transport levy to fund the fight against climate change. Countries including the U.K., Australia and Japan need to follow through on their pledges to reallocate their IMF Special Drawing Rights, and rechannel them through the African Development Bank.
Leaders from the private sector are asked to join the Official UN Race To Zero, set science-based targets, and publish time-bound action plans. They should also commit to making sustainable, transformative investments in low income and climate-impacted countries to stimulate job growth and resilient economies.
The global food and malnutrition crisis continues to decimate communities around the world. According to the Global Report on Food Crises 2023, more than 250 million people are facing acute levels of hunger, with many on the verge of starvation. Africa has sufficient arable land to be the world’s bread basket; instead, rural communities are being devastated by the impacts of climate change and conflict, as smallholder farmers are unable to work or generate sufficient food for their populations.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has the potential to improve the lives of up to 110 million small scale farmers and their communities now. Governments such as Norway, Australia or France need to step up their commitments to double adaptation financing and raise $2 billion for a successful IFAD replenishment at the end of 2023, so impacted communities can adapt to climate change and improve food security for themselves and the world.
“COP27, this year’s G7, the World Bank Spring Meetings and the Paris climate finance summit all failed to deliver tangible results, or disruption of the world’s unjust systems,” said Hugh Evans, Co-Founder & CEO of Global Citizen. “But complacency can’t win. If we want to see breakthroughs on development and climate change, we need the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and all G7 nations to meet the urgency of the hour. Every single citizen has a vital role to play, and together, we must be laser-focused on driving results and impact in September.”
Global Citizen Festival is presented by Citi and Cisco. Global Partners are Accenture, Delta Air Lines, P&G, TimesLIVE and Verizon; Campaign Partner World Wide Technology; with Live Nation, iHeartMedia, and Location Partner New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. The Global Citizen Festival broadcast is produced by Done and Dusted.
Global Citizen is also grateful for the support of leading media companies across the world including: iHeartMedia, AIM Group, Arena Holdings, Atmosphere TV, Bandsintown, Bella Naija, Captivate, EIB Network, Grocery TV, GSTV, Interstate Outdoor, MX Location, New Tradition, Orange Barrel Media, OUTFRONT Media, Penske Media, Seen Media, Six Flags Theme Parks, Spotify, Trooh Media, Vanguard Media, Vox Media, The Wall Street Journal and Zikoko.