Together with 320 other young activists of 35 different nationalities in 7 European countries, I went to meet citizens and politicians to convince them to work with us to fight against inequality in the poorest countries.
By joining One as a young ambassador, I decided to act against extreme poverty.
ONE is an international advocacy and campaigning organization that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease by raising public awareness and lobbying political leaders to support policies and programs that save lives and improve futures around the world.
[Newsletter 1] 50 young people mobilize against extreme poverty with NGO One
Paris, March 3, 2020 – 50 young people from across France have been selected from hundreds of applications to become the new Youth Ambassadors for ONE, the NGO fighting extreme poverty co-founded by Bono of the band U2. For one year, they will meet with citizens and political representatives to convince them to commit themselves to the fight against inequality in the poorest countries.
A youth that mobilizes
They are high school students, college students, or young professionals, between the ages of 17 and 31, and are now part of the 2020 class of ONE Young Ambassadors. Together, they are committed to becoming, for one year, the representatives of a committed generation that is mobilizing to fight against global inequalities.
They will take advantage of several events throughout the year to make their voices heard. In their city, their school, during cultural festivals, on social networks, and even at the National Assembly or the European Parliament, the young Ambassadors will organize events, meet with their elected officials, give interviews and raise awareness about gender inequality, education and health in developing countries.
“What drew me to join ONE was its fight against injustice and prejudice. Particularly in the fight against extreme poverty and for the promotion of gender equality” Ugbad Ali Mohamad, Young Ambassador in Aix-en-Provence.
Vaccination invites itself to the municipal elections
To begin with, the young people have a major mission: to call on France to support the vaccination of children in the poorest countries before the World Vaccine Summit to be held in London in June. To do this, they will need to obtain the support of political representatives throughout France, and will therefore meet with candidates in the municipal elections to ask them to help them lobby the government and the Elysée Palace for a Elysée for an ambitious financial contribution to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
ONE Youth Ambassadors are available on request to talk about their commitment and mobilization around the municipal elections today.
[Newsletter 2] Open letter from ONE’s young ambassadors to Emmanuel Macron
Dear President of the Republic,
We are 50 young ambassadors of all ages, coming from all regions of France and firmly convinced that access to health care must be a right for all. This is why we are mobilized alongside ONE, an international advocacy and citizen mobilization NGO. It is a global movement fighting against extreme poverty and preventable diseases, particularly in Africa.
Since January, the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken our health systems, our lifestyles, our economies, our relationships with others and the outside world. On the other hand, this pandemic has favored the emergence and the revaluation of an unconditional solidarity between populations. Helping the most disadvantaged is what we know how to do and what we have a duty to do. This mutual aid is crucial and, more than ever, it must be international.
Often overlooked, the poorest countries (especially in Africa) are heavily impacted at the climatic, economic and especially health levels with often fragile health systems. Today, 800 million people are too poor to feed themselves decently, making their immunity even more fragile.
Africa imports 94% of its pharmaceutical products and therefore counts on our support. We welcome your initiative at the last G20 meeting and ask you to continue. The epidemic The response must be global as well.
In this extremely fragile health context, access to vaccination is essential. Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, plays an essential role. This organization has been working for 20 years to improve access to vaccines for the most vulnerable, especially children. To date, France’s contribution has helped vaccinate nearly 41 million children, save 700,000 lives, and save more than $8 billion through vaccination.
As Gavi’s fifth historical contributor, France must, today more than ever, meet the current challenges and reaffirm its political and financial commitment by renewing its contribution.
In this World Immunization Week, we address you, Emmanuel MACRON, President of the Republic, as you will represent France at the fundraising conference organized on May 4 by the European Union, and co-chaired by France. The objective is to raise the sum of 8 billion dollars to finance the research and development, production and distribution of the COVID vaccine and treatments for ALL.
We expect the French government to make an ambitious and substantial contribution to the $8 billion needed to ensure the eradication of COVID-19, a contribution that should be additional to France’s support for Gavi.
During the Ebola epidemic, we have seen a resurgence of malaria and measles in some countries, and we must avoid the appearance of a new epidemic within this pandemic. It is therefore also important not to turn away from other preventable diseases that also require access to a vaccine.
We reiterate our request to the Government and to you, Mr. President, to renew the financial contribution to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to the tune of 250 million euros for the period 2021-2025.
France must seize this opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to solidarity and international action in the fight against pandemics. The virus knows no borders. We believe that solidarity should not have any either. We are therefore counting on the solidarity of all countries to adopt a global response in order to respond in a united manner to this crisis, whether it is at the end of the street or at the end of the world.
Please accept, Mr. President of the Republic, the expression of our profound respect.
Ninon Beillard, Sarah Ben Smida, Océane Fourquet, Zineb Jaoudat, Manon Jordana, Edith Kouakou, Romane Mika, Manon Monod, Maya Pargade-Klitzke, David Reviriego, Romain Sion, Chaimaa Taib, Louise Thomas Leibengut, Lilia Touil, Vanessa Woerner
April 30, 2020
[Newsletter 3] The importance of Gavi’s work explained by the young ambassadors
On June 4, the third replenishment conference of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, will be held with the ambitious goal of reaching at least $7.4 billion in additional funding for the period 2021-2025.
Over the past 20 years, Gavi has helped immunize 760 million children against preventable diseases and saved more than 13 million lives. Currently, the organization helps immunize nearly half of the world’s children. In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, Gavi’s work is more crucial than ever and could enable the most vulnerable populations to access the future vaccine.
France’s previous contribution to Gavi helped save 700,000 lives and vaccinate nearly 41 million children. As a historical player in global health through its political and financial commitment, France must now, more than ever, rise to the challenge of the global health crisis we are experiencing.
This is why we are asking Emmanuel Macron to renew France’s funding to Gavi up to 250 million euros for the period 2021-2025. Three young Ambassadors who work in the health sector wanted to explain to us why Gavi’s work is so crucial. Discover their testimony.
Latame Komla Adoli, 25 years old, doctor
My name is Latame Komla ADOLI. I am a general practitioner and I am currently studying for a Master’s degree in development economics, health economics, at the University of Clermont-Ferrand’s School of Economics. I am Togolese and I am 25 years old.
“Better health is essential for happiness and well-being. Better health also contributes significantly to economic progress, as healthy populations live longer, are more productive and save more” (World Health Organization, 2009)
For me, health is the fundamental element of a person’s existence. It must therefore be at the center of our countries’ policies. However, it is clear that, despite the countless efforts of our leaders, much remains to be done. The number of patients we receive in hospital every day for pneumonia, diarrhea, rotavirus, measles – in short, for diseases that are preventable – is constantly increasing, which testifies to the importance of what remains to be done in this sector. It is therefore fair and equitable to pay particular attention to health issues because they are important.
It is often said that prevention is better than cure. So, in my opinion, we need to put more effort into preventing diseases, especially those that are preventable. Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, works to provide equitable access to immunization, an effective means of prevention against many diseases. Supporting Gavi would allow more children to be healthy, to be able to live a normal life and to contribute to the development of our countries. This campaign is therefore essential and deserves to be supported.
This year, Gavi is replenishing its funds for the period 2021-2025. In order to enable it to continue, and even improve, its actions, it is essential to support it. This is a matter that concerns us all, regardless of our origin, if only out of pure solidarity.
In January 2020, ONE launched a petition with the aim of collecting as many signatures as possible to prove to our leaders that this issue is far from being the concern of a minority, but rather the concern of all. By signing this petition, you too will contribute to this fight that concerns us all. By signing this petition, you are making your voice heard in favor of a world that is fairer and more supportive in terms of access to health care, so you know what you have to do.
Joya Madi, 28, pharmacist
One of the biggest health challenges today is in communities that do not have access to prevention on a regular basis. It is these communities that are most at risk of being at the epicenter of deadly epidemics and pandemics. These epidemics not only threaten to undermine the hard-won gains of routine immunization programs, but also threaten global health security because of the dramatic increase in human mobility.
But fear not, because Gavi is here!
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, runs campaigns to improve access to life-saving vaccines and routine immunization for certain preventable diseases. Gavi has changed the lives of millions of people in low-income countries. Since its inception, the organization has protected an entire generation of children, 760 million of them, from potentially deadly infectious diseases.
“Prevention is better than cure” The proverb that says it all!
I am a pharmacist. My background has given me experience and knowledge of health risks. This is not the case for everyone. When I ran a pharmacy in Lebanon for more than 3 years, my main duty was to raise awareness about the possibility of preventing certain diseases and health problems that can be avoided through simple gestures!
My experience has taught me that the best solution is prevention. Preventive initiatives often have a greater impact than palliative measures.
That is why, today, I invite you to join me and support Gavi in this fight to build a safe world and allow new generations to thrive in life. Your voice is crucial and your signature counts!
By signing the petition, you are calling on world leaders and helping to ensure that Gavi continues to carry out its vaccination campaigns in the most vulnerable countries. Vaccinated communities will be healthier, get a better education, and the household economy will be boosted. A simple vaccine can make the next generation of women and men more productive, and it’s all thanks in large part to you!
Mario Jendrossek, 25, epidemiologist
My name is Mario and I am a young epidemiologist working on infectious disease control. The COVID-19 pandemic currently demonstrates the importance of disease control for all countries, their populations, economies and educational systems.
As a health care professional, I stand up every day to improve access to health care and health systems because our health and the health of our loved ones is a primary need for every human being. As an engaged citizen, I see health as a keystone for development because health problems hinder education and economic development. Health is therefore a central issue for equal opportunity.
ONE’s campaign in support of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, aims to ensure that France remains mobilized in the framework of Gavi’s multilateral funding. Since its creation in 2000, Gavi has helped vaccinate 760 million children and save 13 million lives.
In order for this organization to continue this remarkable work, whose exemplary nature has been recognized many times, Gavi must renew its funding in 2020. Our campaign simply asks that France renews its contribution of 250 million euros over the next five years and thus confirms its commitment to Gavi.
I believe that we must mobilize because we must not take past successes for granted. In a context of severe budget constraints, politicians tend to cut development budgets. A renewed commitment would be a strong signal to mobilize other contributors and allow Gavi to reach its ambitious goals. It would also show that France is living up to its international ambitions.
[Newsletter 4] Our priorities for the European budget
While other actors are withdrawing from the international scene, the EU has the opportunity to show leadership at the global level: the EU, and especially the European Parliament and the European Commission, must continue to set an example in the fight to eradicate extreme poverty and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
This is also what European citizens are calling for: more than seven out of ten people agree that fighting poverty in developing countries should be one of the EU’s priorities (Eurobarometer 2018).
ADP should focus on eradicating extreme poverty, and go first to the regions, sectors and populations that need the most attention. Specifically, we call for:
Respect international commitments and maintain the EU’s leading role in the fight against extreme poverty.
- Advocate for an increase in ADP to ensure that the EU and its Member States meet their commitment to allocate 0.7% of their RNB to ADP, by 2030 at the latest. 140 billion for European aid in its next multi-year budget – the CFP that will cover the period between 2021 and 2027.
- Ensure that the primary objective of European aid is the reduction, and in the long term the eradication, of poverty and that this imperative is not diluted by other policy objectives such as migration or security.
Ensure that European aid prioritizes the people and regions most in need, and the most pressing problems.
- Dedicate 50% of European aid to Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and fragile states in Africa, where extreme poverty will be concentrated in the coming years. Today, only 25% of European aid is devoted to this group of countries.
- Ensure that 85% of EU aid contributes to gender equality and that at least 20% of aid is allocated to human development, mainly health and education. Today, both of these imperatives are not being met by the EU, but are essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
The EU is still about €30 billion short of the European Commission’s proposal to reach the €140 billion target and thus be on track to meet its international commitments. Closing this funding gap would allow the EU over the next 7 years, each year, to:
- Provide quality basic education to over one million children;
- Provide access to sexual and reproductive health care for 4.59 million women;
- Avert 30,677 deaths from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis & malaria;
- Provide essential vaccines to 5.41 million children.
[Newsletter 5] How can our generation end extreme poverty?
One’s Manifesto for Tomorrow’s World
“In tomorrow’s world, we no longer exist”
We are not yet free of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is already time to think about building the “world after”. Many people have already done this, especially on the future and national issues of France. But this pandemic has reminded us more than ever of our interdependence and the close link between the destiny of France and that of other countries. Because we believe that international policy deserves to be rethought in depth, ONE is ready to make an optimistic contribution and share its vision of tomorrow’s world.
In this world of tomorrow, we no longer exist. Our struggles have been heard not only by governments and political leaders, but also by public institutions and private sector actors. Our solutions have been implemented. The values of solidarity and social justice that we defended are carried and embodied in political decisions. Our struggles have become obsolete.
- International solidarity and development aid are finally up to the challenge
- The vaccine against COVID-19 is a global public good
- Gender equality is finally a reality
- Adaptation to climate change is now at the heart of our international action
- New standards of financial transparency have given new impetus to citizen control and the fight against illicit financial flows
- Tax justice has become an essential tool for reducing inequality
Welcome to the world of tomorrow as imagined by ONE!
Read our Manifesto to find out how we got there:
[Newsletter 6] Generation Activist: the movement of committed youth
Who said that equality, justice and international solidarity don’t interest young people?
Since 2014, ONE has relied on the Young Ambassadors program, a volunteer program unique in Europe. For one year, young volunteers, aged 16 to 30 and coming from all over France, mobilize to campaign and go directly to meet political figures to carry ONE’s message. Committed, determined and militant, we want to actively participate in building a better world for everyone.
More determined to act than ever, we have decided to take our commitment even further. This is why, in May, we decided to create our own movement: Generation Activist.
What exactly is Generation Activist?
Launched in May 2020, the Activist Generation movement embodies the commitment of young people in the name of solidarity, justice and equality. We come from all walks of life and have multiple motivations, yet we join forces to achieve a common goal: to act for a better world.
By creating a virtual community, Generation Activist wishes to bring together the voices of youth committed to international solidarity. Through Facebook and Instagram, the movement regularly shares portraits and initiatives of committed young people, inspiring quotes and news related to the topics and issues that motivate us and that we wish to defend.
In the long term, we want to create a real collective of committed people to make a difference and to actively participate in building tomorrow’s world.
Testimonies of committed youth
For Vanessa, 30 years old, volunteer at Action contre la Faim, getting involved is a gentle way to make a revolution to change a world full of inequalities and social injustices.
As for Laëtitia, 26 years old, member of the Regional Youth Council of Ile-de-France, she is convinced that international solidarity is not only a matter of States, but that it concerns us all wherever we live.
Many other young people testify on the platform about their different forms of commitment and their convictions. Today, more than ever, we must give them a voice because it is their future that is at stake. Their commitment and their determination to act are essential in order to build a fairer, more equitable and more united world for all.
How can you support them?
Speaking out is one thing, acting is another. In order to maximize the impact of Generation Activist and give them the means to be heard by political leaders, we are calling for your support!
If you share our values and are active on Facebook and Instagram, you can follow us and share the different content we propose on your own networks. The more our messages are relayed, the more the movement will grow!
If not, you can simply talk about it around you. We all know someone who is involved in an association, a collective or any other type of solidarity organization. Generation Activist is the ideal platform to amplify the voice of those who are committed to noble causes. Relaying the information to your friends and family is a powerful and effective tool for the movement to gain strength and visibility.
Thank you in advance for your support!
[Newsletter 7] PLF 2021 : Emmanuel Macron’s budget must be equal to the current challenges
Official development assistance: where do we stand?
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it all the more crucial to have a development policy that is up to the challenge. We had made enormous progress in the fight against extreme poverty since the 1990s: this is no longer the case. 120 million people could fall into extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa in 2020 alone, for the first time in 30 years. This represents almost twice the population of France.
Thus, the presidential commitment to increase French official development assistance (ADP) to 0.55% of RNB by the end of his term, welcomed in 2017, is no longer sufficient.
The COVID-19 health crisis has upset the orders of magnitude. France must change its own, and not forget the poorest countries: it must massively increase its development aid in order to reach the historic goal of 0.7% of GNI allocated to ODA in 2022.
More than 400 billion euros have already been invested in the French recovery plan. However, nothing additional has been planned to support vulnerable countries to cope with this unprecedented crisis.
Starting with the 2021 budget, France must increase its planned development aid trajectory and ensure that it is on track to reach 0.7% of RNB by 2022.
This represents an increase of 5 billion euros over 2 years, or just over 1% of the financial effort designed for national recovery. This is France’s duty, but it is also a smart investment: no country will be able to overcome this pandemic alone, and no one will be safe until we are all safe..
The government’s 2021 budget bill, published on September 28, provides for an increase of 683 million euros in the “official development assistance” mission, to reach a total of 4 billion euros. The two solidarity taxes, allocated to development, represent an additional 700 million euros.
This increase, although welcome, only confirms the financial trajectory planned by the government since the summer of 2019 in order to respect the 0.55% commitment. The government’s plan therefore excludes international solidarity from its recovery plan, despite the explosion of needs.
The financial transaction tax (TTF): an opportunity to increase ADP in 2021
The TTF is one of two “earmarked taxes” for development. Like its counterpart, the Airline Ticket Tax (TSBA), the TTF aims to correct the extent of global inequality by taxing some of the “winners” of globalization (the financial sector) to benefit its “losers” (the populations of developing countries).
However, the revenues from these two taxes mainly finance donations to sectoral priorities such as health, education and climate change. Together with the “official development assistance” mission, these two channels constitute the core of aid, i.e. its most manageable and effective part, including subsidies for the poorest and priority countries of French aid, while benefiting essential social services and the most vulnerable populations.
The TTF is also the only parliamentary lever to act on French official development assistance within the annual budget1 . It is a very effective but little-known tool, the full mobilization of which could contribute to official development assistance that meets the current challenges, in a way that is painless for public finances.
We must put an end to the myth that the TTF would impact our competitiveness: six European countries have already implemented an TTF at the national level2 , without any demonstration of an impact on competitiveness, three others are in the process of drafting legislation3 , and many global financial centers have an TTF and are in the process of developing one, including Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland and the United Kingdom4.
Moreover, the TTF does not impact the real economy, nor does it dampen household consumption or investment. Yet, in 2020, while the rest of the economy was collapsing, financial transactions benefited from the current economic situation and the containment linked to COVID-19 due to “the increase in volumes traded on the markets during the first half of the year” as mentioned in the PLF 2021.
As a result, the yield of the TTF almost doubled between January and August 20205. Strengthening the French financial transaction tax has therefore become a question of justice and equality: they are among the only transactions that are not taxed today (the French TTF does not cover all transactions, including intraday and derivatives) and the financial sector has benefited from the consequences of the pandemic, it must participate in the reconstruction of vulnerable countries around the world. Parliamentarians should increase the revenues of the French TTF and increase the funds that are allocated to development.
What can parliamentarians do within the PLF 2021?
Parliamentarians have 3 levers to increase development aid through the TTF :
- Increase the rate of the TTF from 0.3% to 0.5%: this would increase the revenue of the TTF from 1.6 billion currently to 2.6 billion euros.
- Increasing the ceiling for development earmarking, currently set at 528 million euros (about 32% of TTF revenues). Parliamentarians can decide to allocate 50% of the TTF revenues to the SDF, which requires an increase in the allocation cap to ensure that the additional revenues generated are directed towards international solidarity.
- Taxing intraday transactions, i.e. all speculative buying and selling of a security during the day, and not only the result of transactions at the end of the day. Financial transactions are one of the only flows that benefit from a daily tax instead of a per-transaction tax. Taxing intraday transactions would increase TTF revenues by an additional €2-4 billion, 50% of which could be allocated to fighting extreme poverty in the poorest countries.
1 L’article 40 de la constitution française les empêche en effet de déposer un amendement qui ait pour conséquence « soit une diminution des ressources publiques, soit la création ou l’aggravation d’une charge publique ».
2 Belgique, Finlande, France, Irlande, Italie et Pologne.
3 Hongrie, Portugal et Espagne.
4 Leonard E. Burman, William G. Gale, Sarah Gault, Bryan Kim, Jim Nunns, and Steve Rosenthal, mars 2016, « Financial Transaction Taxes in Theory and Practice », National Tax Journal, 69 (1), 171–216, https://www.robinhoodtax.org.uk/sites/default/files/Burman%20et%20al_%20NTJ%20Mar%202016%20%282%29.pdf
5 Les Echos, « La taxe sur les transactions financières va rapporter plus que prévu à l’Etat », 16 septembre 2020, https://www.lesechos.fr/economie-france/budget-fiscalite/la-taxe-sur-les-transactions-financieres-va-rapporter-plus-que- prevu-a-letat-1242790#xtor=CS1-3046
[Newsletter 8] Budget bill: for solidarity and equity
ONE’s core mission is to end extreme poverty and preventable disease by 2030. To do this, countries have a powerful tool at their disposal: official development assistance (ADP). Through grants, loans and other financial mechanisms, developed countries can help finance projects in developing countries to fight poverty, gender inequality and climate change.
In France, the state budget (also known as the finance bill, or PLF) is debated and voted on each year starting in October in the National Assembly. This is a crucial political moment when France’s different budgetary envelopes are negotiated, and therefore its priorities for the coming year. Every year, we mobilize to ensure that MPs support and vote for measures that improve French ADP.
This year, as young Ambassadors, we mobilized online in the framework of the “Lobby Days” and we went to meet our MPs to ask them to defend a more united French budget!
A “Robin Hood” tax?
French ADP is made up of various financial channels, including revenues from the Financial Transaction Tax (TTF). This tax, nicknamed the “Robin Hood tax”, was conceived as a solidarity tax to correct inequalities by taxing the “winners” of globalization – in this case, the financial sector, which has only grown over the years – to benefit those left behind by globalization, namely the populations of developing countries. It is a way to make the financial sector contribute to the fight against extreme poverty.
Today, these inequalities are more glaring than ever. On the one hand, as a result of the impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, extreme poverty is on the rise worldwide – a first since the 1990s. At the same time, while the French economy has been heavily impacted by the containment, financial transactions have continued to increase, and are earning more than last year, despite the pandemic.
The TTF is therefore an effective tool for MPs to fight against extreme poverty and to promote tax justice. However, the TTF is currently under-used and does not reach its full potential. But by activating some parliamentary levers, the TTF could be more ambitious and bring in much more funding for ADP.
As Ambassadors, we are on the case!
At ONE, we have committed ourselves as volunteers under the name of Ambassador to fight for more international solidarity. Our mission: to relay One’s demands regarding the FTT to MPs, to get as many meetings as possible to exchange, debate and defend our positions, and to encourage them to vote for amendments in favor of a more ambitious FTT.
To carry out our mission, we have benefited from an internal training to better understand the stakes of our campaigns and the golden rules to conduct an effective and constructive advocacy meeting.
In only a few weeks, we contacted no less than 140 MPs from all political parties by email, phone or even on social networks! The result? 25 responses from interested MPs, 12 of which have resulted in meetings! Our mobilization of young activists does not stop there!
Here is the debriefing following our exchange with MP Eric Alauzet:
Or Sarah’s testimony following our meeting with the deputy Annie Chapelier :
And that’s not all… Political advocacy, social networking, media testimonials – we were active on all channels! We got interviews with 7 regional media (press, radio, and even television) to explain the reasons for our commitment, the importance of mobilizing MPs on international solidarity issues and their expectations for the future.
No change for the TTF, but other opportunities are coming
The issue of the TTF is becoming increasingly popular with elected officials, and this year’s mobilization was unprecedented: 185 MPs co-signed amendments on the TTF! Unfortunately, these amendments were voted on late at night and few MPs were present in the hemicycle to vote on them. Despite the growing support in the Assembly, no amendments were finally adopted on the TTF. At a time when up to 115 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty in 2020 alone as a result of the consequences of the COVID-19, the National Assembly missed the opportunity for a fairer and more inclusive 2020 budget.
But we will not give up just yet. In the coming months, MPs will have a new opportunity to mobilize in favor of international solidarity. How can we do this? After examining the quantity of ADP in the budget, it will be time to discuss the quality of aid, with the passage of a bill on international development in the Assembly. This will be an opportunity to vote for better targeted and more effective French aid on the ground. We will once again answer the call. To be continued…
[Newsletter 9] Closing ceremony of the Ambassador One 2020 program
“Where you are born should not determine whether you live or not, or whether you are happy or not.
Earlier this year I got involved with One France, an advocacy organization that fights extreme poverty and preventable diseases. I got involved because I want to contribute to the improvement of people’s well-being and I am convinced that this can be achieved through international solidarity actions.
Despite the particular context of this year, we have had a lot of success, especially in the appeal for the replenishment of the operating funds of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance or our advocacy for the tax on financial transactions.
As our term as a young ambassador comes to an end, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the One France team, as well as all my other young ambassador colleagues. It has been a great experience with them. Applications for the next promotion are already open. Apply here:
[Newsletter 10] Arrival of 55 young people who act against extreme poverty with the NGO One
Paris, March 4, 2021 – 55 young people from all over France have been selected from hundreds of applications to become the new Young Ambassadors of ONE, the NGO against extreme poverty co-founded by Bono of the group U2. For one year, they will meet with citizens and political representatives to convince them to commit themselves to the fight against inequality in the poorest countries.
A youth that mobilizes
They are high school students, college students, or young professionals, between the ages of 16 and 35, and are now part of the 2021 class of ONE’s Young Ambassadors program. Together, they are committed to becoming the representatives of a committed generation that is mobilizing to fight global inequalities, far from the clichés that the pandemic has pushed youth to withdraw into themselves.
This new year is already shaping up to be a busy one for our young Ambassadors: alongside ONE, they will advocate for a more ambitious official development assistance budget, defend equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines in poor countries, and mobilize for women’s rights at a major international summit organized by France.
They will receive training to become online activists, participate in international summits, meet with French and European parliamentarians, and organize events near their homes to contribute to a more just world.
Access to vaccines and education
To begin with, the young people have two important missions: They will try to pressure France to make the COVID-19 vaccine a true global public good, and they will advocate for France to invest in quality education for all children by funding the Global Partnership for Education, the largest international fund and partnership dedicated exclusively to education. ONE Youth Ambassadors are available on request to talk about their commitment and mobilization today.
ONE is a global advocacy and campaigning organization, co-founded by Bono, that fights extreme poverty, primarily in Africa. The Youth Ambassadors have already proven that they can have a real political impact and be true agents of change.
In previous years, they have mobilized in several festivals and met with personalities such as Bill Gates, Bono, Emmanuel Macron, French ministers, deputies and senators, as well as commissioners and European deputies, in order to convince them to commit to fighting inequality.
In 2020, despite the consequences of the COVID-19 on international politics, including the postponement of many national and multilateral political events they were supposed to take part in, they obtained dozens of meetings with deputies by video conference and continued their mobilization online, with Generation Activist, a movement that embodies the commitment of young people in the name of solidarity, justice and equality.
[Newsletter 11] Rewriting the future of 70 million children
Rewriting the future of 70 million children
The impact of COVID-19 on children’s education is not yet fully measured, but it is already known to be considerable. School closures and home learning difficulties are already giving us a disturbing picture. At the height of the crisis, 1.6 billion children were forced to leave school. Around the world, nearly 90% of the world’s countries have closed schools in response to COVID-19.
Disruptions to students’ school year can have very serious consequences. But in low-income countries, education was in crisis even before COVID-19 began. Indeed, 90% of 10-year-olds in these countries could not read or understand simple materials such as a medical pamphlet or a school test. This trend could get much worse.
Long-term consequences for education and poverty
According to a recent ONE analysis, by 2021 alone, 70 million children – more than half of the world’s 10-year-olds – may not master the basic literacy skills expected of a child of that age, if worst-case scenarios of the impact of COVID-19 on education systems become reality.
Even worse, the number of children at risk will reach 750 million by 2030 if current trends continue. The impact of COVID-19 is responsible for nearly 17% of this figure. Girls are particularly at risk: 20 million of them may never return to school.
As adults, these children will have to deal with the consequences of being deprived of schooling – which will affect their ability to start businesses, obtain well-paying jobs, and support their families.
This deprivation will also have a significant impact on societies as a whole. Disruptions in schooling could result in a $10 trillion loss of income for schoolchildren affected by the pandemic who will no longer be able to claim the same salary. Conversely, if all students in low-income countries left school with basic reading skills, 171 million people could escape extreme poverty.
What are the consequences for sub-Saharan Africa?
In sub-Saharan Africa, these consequences are even more devastating: this year, 40% of the world’s children aged 10 who have not mastered basic reading and writing skills live in this region.
Public funding can help reverse this trend. But since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, two-thirds of low- and middle-income countries have cut their education budgets, facing insurmountable dilemmas between paying off their debt, providing health care for their populations, and paying teachers’ salaries.
How can this situation be remedied?
There is still time to act for the children who will celebrate their tenth birthday next year and in the years to come.
ONE calls on all governments to take effective action to address this education crisis and ensure a future in which every 10-year-old can read and understand a story:
- G7 leaders must endorse global goals for girls’ education set by the United Kingdom, which holds the G7 presidency this year.
- Donor countries must step up to the plate to ensure full funding for the Global Partnership for Education.
- G20 Finance Ministers must provide a comprehensive stimulus package to low- and middle-income countries.
- Low- and middle-income countries must commit to protecting their education budgets.
- Governments must commit to improving the collection and reliability of their data.