Commonwealth leaders pledged more than £250 million to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 at a star-studded event in London.
The UK’s Secretary of State for International Development, Penny Mordaunt, was among the guests and promised to commit £212million towards providing almost one million girls across the Commonwealth with access to “quality education” by 2025.
Australia would provide a further £1.7million towards education in the Commonwealth, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, the country’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific said.
The crowd at the 02 Brixton Academy (Matt Crossick/PA)
The pledges were made at a Global Citizen Live event at the O2 Academy in Brixton, which was hosted by TV presenter Maya Jama while rapper Professor Green and singer Emeli Sande both performed.
All three celebrities backed politicians’ promises to combat extreme poverty.
Jama, 23, told the Press Association: “It’s so important to spread awareness of all the issues raised tonight and I am honoured to be a part of it.
“Global Citizen is something I have followed for a long time so for them to ask me, I immediately said 100% yes.”
Jama, 23, also hopes she can encourage her young fanbase to get behind the causes backed by Global Citizen.
Kojo Funds (Matt Crossick/PA)
Professor Green, whose real name is Stephen Paul Manderson, performed the song Read All About It with Sande.
He called poverty a “political decision” and predicted the younger generation will “turn everything on its head”.
He told the Press Association: “The next generation are going to turn everything on its head because they are so much better educated in things, such as politics and mental health. They are just more engaged.”
Sande, who performed her hit Next To Me, said ending extreme poverty by 2030 was a realistic goal.
She told the Press Association: “I am here because I really believe in what they (Global Citizen) are fighting for in ending extreme poverty.
“It’s a realistic goal, in this day and age it shouldn’t be happening. It shouldn’t be such an injustice in the world.”
Naughty Boy, Gabrielle Aplin, Kojo Funds and Little Simz also performed.
Gabrielle Aplin (Matt Crossick/PA)
The event, on Tuesday night, was timed coincide with the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting and also marked the centenary year of Nelson Mandela.
The money pledged – which was more than £300million following donations from businesses – will help at least 17 million people living in extreme poverty around the world, organisers said.
Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan appeared on stage and urged politicians to honour the legacy of Mandela, who had called for an end to extreme poverty.
Kofi Annan (Matt Crossick/PA)
He said: “Inequality is not just about income or wealth, it’s about power. Lasting peace, justice, and well-being for all cannot exist when we are trapped in an unequal system. Growing inequality is being felt not only between countries, but increasingly within countries. It is a consequence of exploiting our environment and our people.
“Real change comes from people. You are never too young to lead and we, the older generation, are never too old to learn from your wisdom. So please join us. Walk together and help us continue Mandela’s long walk to freedom.”
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