Coldplay, Billie Eilish, Femi Kuti and others sign open letter demanding world leaders end extreme poverty NOW

Musicians, artists and entertainers from around the world signed an open letter on Thursday calling on world leaders, businesses and Global Citizens around the world to empower women and girls, to break down the systemic barriers that keep people in poverty and to take urgent action against the climate crisis.

The letter, in support of Global Citizen’s year-long campaign End Extreme Poverty NOW – Our Future Can’t Wait, focuses on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted efforts to eliminate the causes and consequences of extreme poverty. It calls on rich nations to “close the financing gap” $3.5 trillion annually to achieve the United Nations Development Goals.

Artists who have signed the letter include 5 Seconds of Summer, Adam Lambert, Alessia Cara, Alok, Bill Nye, Billie Eilish, Billy Porter, Camilo, Cathy Freeman, Charlie Puth, Chloe x Halle, Coldplay, Connie Britton, Criolo, Cyndi Lauper, Dikembe Mutombo, DJ Cuppy, Duran Duran, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, Femi Kuti, FINNEAS, Hugh Jackman and Deborra-lee Furness, Lali, Lang Lang, Made Kuti, MÅNESKIN, Muzi, Nancy Isime, Nile Rodgers, Nomzamo Mbatha , Padma Lakshmi, Rachel Brosnahan, Ricky Martin, Sabrina Elba and Tropkillaz.

Action: End Extreme Poverty NOW

“We ask leaders to step up and fully commit the funding necessary to address the challenges we face,” the letter says. “We need to improve opportunities for girls around the world, address the systemic barriers that keep people in poverty, and stop the climate crisis. But we can only succeed in solving these problems if we remove the barriers that have kept us prevented from ending extreme poverty and commit funding levels that allow for real sustainable progress and not just a temporary patch.

No setback in the fight to end extreme poverty has been greater than the COVID-19 pandemic. The severe economic upheavals of the last two years have plunged more than 100 million people into extreme poverty, erasing six years of progress. It is estimated that 45 million people could starve this year unless immediate interventions are made.

As a consequence of these and other crises, the financing gap to achieve the UN Development Goals has increased to a total of 3.5 trillion dollars, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). To close this gap, it is necessary to combine bilateral and multilateral foreign aid, distribute national resources, as well as corporate and private philanthropy.

Related Story: Global Citizen Launches “End Extreme Poverty NOW” Campaign – An Urgent Call to Action

Although it seems like a lot of money, it is only a fraction of the $94 trillion global economy Y only 1% of the more than 300 trillion dollars of private wealth worldwide. Investing in the Development Goals (which include alleviating poverty, ending hunger and supporting girls’ education) also generates financial returns. For example: every dollar invested in girls’ rights and education produces $2.80 in local economic activity, according to the World Economic Forum.

More important than financial performance, however, is the simple truth that no one should live in extreme poverty, struggle for food, or suffer injustice in a world with enough wealth and resources to provide a quality standard of living for all.

“The poorest people on our planet continue to suffer,” the letter says. “They lack access to food, health care and education. They face the realities of climate change: endless drought in some places, floods and rising seas in others. They can’t put food on the table, they can’t access access to basic medicines and health care; they cannot access financing or equity, and therefore cannot offer their children a better future”.

Rich countries, such as the G7 and G20, need to step up, the open letter argues, and the End Extreme Poverty NOW campaign amplifies this rallying cry.

There is still time to realize a sense of shared responsibility and global solidarity. The End Extreme Poverty NOW campaign has three main pillars: breaking the systemic barriers that trap people in poverty, starting with ending the COVID-19 pandemic; significant action against the climate crisis, and empower women, girls and adolescents around the world. And we can’t achieve any of this without championing advocacy: activists must be free to mobilize, journalists must be free to report, and advocacy groups must be able to amplify the voices of the most marginalized people.

“Our people and our planet are suffering right now,” the open letter says. “So we must act now. Urgent action must not be postponed. No more promises and commitments. The time to fully fund the future is today.”

You can read the full letter and take action by signing right now.

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Coldplay, Billie Eilish, Femi Kuti and others sign open letter demanding world leaders end extreme poverty NOW

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