Global Citizen’s Work to Alleviate Poverty During COVID-19


SOUTHINGTON, Connecticut — Hugh Evans, Simon Moss and Wei Soo founded The Global Poverty Project in 2008 as an advocacy organization. It launched the Global Citizen movement platform in 2012 to work toward eradicating extreme poverty by 2030. Global Citizen works with supporters and partner organizations to support global poverty alleviation advocacy campaigns. Its goal is to engage 100 million people globally to take initiative to end extreme poverty. Global Citizen has continued its work to alleviate poverty during COVID-19.

The nonprofit organization focuses on civic engagement and advocation for global poverty solutions. Global Citizen advocates ending extreme poverty by forming partnerships with NGOs, helping citizens strengthen their civic tools of democracy and development and bringing awareness of global poverty solutions and policies.

Global Citizen’s Work During COVID-19

Since COVID-19, Global Citizen advocated for global poverty alleviation through the virtual One World Together at Home concert in April 2020. The concert raised $127.9 million for COVID-19-focused initiatives like the World Health Organization COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. The Global Poverty Project has initiated several global poverty alleviation campaigns while posting global poverty reduction support actions, including a request for world leaders to #ACTogether to Beat COVID-19.

The campaign is also working toward the eradication of extreme poverty by advocating for the achievement of United Nations Global Goals. Global Citizen raised $6.9 billion for COVID-19 equipment access through the Global Goal Unite for Our Future advocacy campaign in June 2020.

Global Citizen’s New Initiatives

The Global Citizen’s platform encourages members to join its campaigns and sign global poverty solution petitions. There are several petitions available for specific global poverty focuses. One petition urges the Australian government to create a plan to ensure the nearby Asia-Pacific region retains access to sanitation, hygiene and water resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The organization also partnered with the Coca-Cola company in December 2020 to retain and progress the company’s goals to replenish water, economically empower women and sustain climate action while assisting communities during COVID-19.

Additionally, the Global Goal Unite for Our Future advocacy campaign donated $389 million to the WHO Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator. It provided an additional $236 million to other NGOs, including the World Food Programme, UNICEF and Education Cannot Wait to work toward U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Global Citizen Australia

The Borgen Project interviewed Global Citizen Australia Country Director Sarah Meredith. The Australian government and the Global Citizen Limited Charity have supported and partnered with the GAVI Vaccine Alliance and the organization’s COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) facility. Meredith explained that one of the charity’s 2021 goals is to advocate “for greater investment” of the ACT Accelerator from other countries as “Australia has already contributed to that fund.”

The ACT Accelerator was created to make sure that people have global access to COVID-19 vaccines, equipment and testing. While the Accelerator received $5.8 billion in donations, the fund will require $23.7 billion more in 2021.

Meredith told The Borgen Project that Global Citizen Limited in Australia has a long-term focus on advocating “to see Australia lift its contributions to Overseas Development Assistance or foreign aid.” Organizations like the Australian Red Cross and UNICEF Australia are working to provide aid to poverty-stricken communities in Australia. Moreover, the Australian Red Cross recruited 35,000 Red Cross volunteers to help isolated citizens.

Fighting Challenges From COVID-19

Meredith explained that Australia’s restrictive COVID-19 lockdowns presented a challenge in distributing aid, continuing campaigns and preventing socio-economic issues from rising. In December 2020, Global Citizen published an article on how domestic violence has increased in Australia. In order to support the U.N.’s Gender Equality Global Goal, Global Citizen advocated for the “Generation Equality for Women and Girls,” which approximately 49,300 people signed.

Global Citizen Limited works to publish research on issues and advocacy initiatives, including how Australia provided $500 million in funding to bring developing COVID-19 vaccines to Australia’s Pacific and Southeast Asia neighbors as a way to alleviate global poverty.

Global Citizen Limited gave Professor Brendan Crabb its Australia’s Hero Award in December 2020 with a $10,000 grant toward his infectious disease research. Crabb’s work as director and CEO of the Burnet Institute in Melbourne, Australia, has helped with COVID-19 advocation and scientific test research, alleviate global poverty amid the pandemic. Meredith told The Borgen Project that Crabb received the award because his work has done “an incredible job advocating not only for investment in Australia and a better response but that our Pacific neighbors are a focus” in international aid.

A Look Ahead

As a new COVID-19 strain was sighted in Australia in late December 2020, Global Citizen will continue to plan events to achieve a goal of eradicating global poverty by 2030. Through advocation, the Global Poverty Project is working on alleviating poverty during COVID-19 by acknowledging SDG goals and responding to COVID-19 with Global Citizen initiatives.

Evan Winslow
Photo: Flickr


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