ONE Campaign: Ending Extreme Poverty and Disease in Africa


TACOMA, Washington — Approximately 10% of the world’s population lives in poverty, which is more than 700 million people living on less than $1.90 a day. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an estimated 150 million more people will fall into extreme poverty. Africa is one continent in particular where the prevalence of poverty and preventable disease are still high. One in three Africans – 422 million people – are currently living below the global poverty line. In order to combat these high numbers, many organizations have stepped up efforts to end extreme poverty. ONE Campaign is one such non-governmental organization (NGO) working to end poverty in Africa.

What is ONE Campaign?

Founded in 2004, ONE Campaign is an advocacy organization that focuses on the eradication of poverty and preventable disease by 2030, especially in Africa. The NGO has worked to develop an inclusive and diverse set of initiatives to reach this goal.

Four Facts About ONE Campaign

  1. It helped the Global Fund meet its $14 billion pledge. This will help save 16 million lives between 2021 and 2023. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria raises money for their mission from governments and the private sector. It was able to have 140,000+ members sign its petition to call on global governments to have greater involvement in foreign aid and poverty reduction. ONE Campaign Canada also helped to convince the Canadian government to reverse its decision to not increase its pledge amount. Canada then donated $930.4 million to the Global Fund, which was a 16% increase from the previous pledge.
  2. ONE Campaign launched the Make Naija Stronger Campaign, which helped implement the National Health Act in Nigeria. Nigeria’s healthcare system needed a strong revamp as the sub-Saharan country accounts for one in every eight children’s deaths globally. Every day the country loses more than 2,000 children to disease and 158 Nigerian women die from pregnancy or childbirth-related illnesses. Through its efforts, more than 228,000 people signed the online petition demanding action to revive the healthcare system. It also held over 180 advocacy meetings and public events between February 2017 and May 2018. Additionally, President Buhari signed the 2018 budget with ₦55.1 billion (about $143 million) for the basic healthcare provision fund. 
  3. In 2009, ONE launched a campaign to urge the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to use money from gold sales to help the world’s poorest countries. The NGO launched a petition to the managing director that received 50,000 signatures and held press conferences with the African Development Bank. Due to these actions, the IMF approved a sale of 403 metric tons of gold that raised $13 billion in cash to lend to low-income countries hit by global economic crises. It also increased its concessional lending capacity to $17 billion through 2014.
  4. ONE Campaign has also received support and funding for its mission from many celebrities. These celebrities include actors and singers alike. Some particularly notable male names are Ed Sheeran, George Clooney, Idris Elba and the late Alan Rickman. Some female celebrities include Emma Thompson, Jessica Alba, Lindsay Lohan and Shakira. 
ONE Campaign’s work has impacted over 180 million lives and raised $650 million. Its initiatives have made a real change in Africa through government and private sector interaction and demonstrate the ability of NGOs to make an impact. However, more work is still to come if ONE’s goal of extreme poverty eradication is to be reached by 2030.

Kiana Powers
Photo: Flickr


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