Global Citizen, a movement of engaged citizens who are using their collective voice to end extreme poverty by 2030, has announced that its Global Goal: Unite for Our Future campaign mobilized commitments totaling $6.9 billion in support of COVID-19 relief and response efforts and to address injustices globally.
Launched with the aim of getting the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals back on track, the campaign generated grant commitments of more than $1.5 billion and loans and guarantees totaling $5.4 billion for efforts aimed at providing equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines as they are developed and to support the world's poorest and most marginalized communities.
Commitments from government, corporate, philanthropic, and NGO partners announced ahead of a June 27 summit and benefit concert in support of the campaign include donations of more than two hundred and fifty million vaccine doses for use in the world's poorest countries and $1.3 billion to address the health-related impacts of COVID-19 globally. At least $389 million of the COVID funds will support the World Health Organization's Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, which needs more than $31 billion over the next year to develop and equitably distribute tests, treatments, and vaccines. Another $236 million was committed to Education Cannot Wait, the World Food Programme, UNICEF, the Sanitation and Hygiene Fund, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and other multilateral agencies and NGOs in support of efforts to address the broader impacts of the virus on the world's most marginalized and disadvantaged communities. And $5.4 billion in loans and guarantees from the European Commission and the European Investment Bank will be used to help the most fragile economies recover from the impacts of the virus and advance progress toward the SDGs.
Individual pledges include AU$5 million ($3.42 million) from the Minderoo Foundation to the International COVID-19 Data Alliance and $10 million from an anonymous donor to WHO in support of efforts by the African Regional Office and the Pan American Health Organization to combat COVID-19, with a focus on women and girls. In addition, the entertainer Usher has announced that he will donate proceeds from his song "I Cry," performed for the first time during the campaign's benefit concert, to the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).
"More than ever, we need the WHO, global unity, and partnerships like the one between the European Commission and Global Citizen to ensure that new COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics, and people's vaccines are safe, effective, and affordable," said UN secretary-general António Guterres. "Most importantly, they need to be fully funded and immediately accessible to all."
(Photo credit: World Bank/Henitsoa Rafalia)