April 28, 2023 -NEW YORK (AP) — Hugh Evans highlighted a staggering new statistic to explain why this year’s Global Citizen NOW conference was packed with calls to action and urgent requests for involvement.
The CEO of Global Citizen, who has been fighting against extreme poverty since he was 14, told The Associated Press that climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and a global debt crisis have erased decades of progress in raising people’s quality of life.
“For the first time in my lifetime, we’re making reverse progress on this issue,” Evans said. “When I was born in 1983, 52% of the planet lived in extreme poverty. We got it down to 7%. That was about 690 million people. It’s now increased by hundreds of millions in the last three years.”
This reversal is why Evans turned the two-day Global Citizen NOW conference, which wrapped up Friday night in New York, into a collection of calls to action. Political, business, philanthropic and cultural leaders urged Global Citizen supporters, especially younger generations, to tackle the causes concerning them.