Foo Fighters, Neil Young concert yields $1.3 billion in pledges and raises profile of world’s poor

Foo Fighters

By Laura Ferreiro

Neil Young

The Global Citizen Festival, which took place last month in New York City with headliners including Foo Fighters, Neil Young, The Black Keys and K’Naan, raised awareness of global poverty issues around the world and yielded approximately $1.3 billion in pledges toward ending extreme poverty.

Free tickets to the Central Park concert were given out to 60,000 fans in a lottery. In order to qualify for the giveaway, people had to take action and spread the word about the charities and causes represented by the event.

As a result of the one-day concert, the following commitments totaling an estimated $1.3 billion were made to benefit the extreme poor, according to festival organizers Global Poverty Project:

  • The Half the Sky Movement committed to raise $167.5 Million for women’s empowerment through a coalition of 15 NGO partners
  • The U.S. Fund for UNICEF will raise $500 million by 2015 to fight for the survival and development of children
  • charity: water committed to raise $100 million by 2015 for clean drinking water, 100% of which will directly fund water project costs in the field.
  • Pencils of Promise will generate a movement of 500,000 actions toward education for all
  • World Vision committed to raise $14.5 million for advocacy to reduce child and maternal mortality rates
  • World Food Program USA committed $15 million towards reducing childhood malnutrition in Central America
  • Global Partnership for Education will raise $500 million to help 5 million children in crisis and conflict areas get in school and learn
  • Malaria No More will raise up to $1.5 million to expand life-saving health education programs in central Africa
  • The Earth Institute committed $6.2 million for food security throughout the Horn of Africa
  • Earth Day Network committed $10 million to plant 10 million trees over five years around the world.

The festival wasn’t only about raising money, which it obviously did quite successfully. It also aimed to engage young people in social movements to help eradicate global poverty through action and promotion, and to encourage them to hold NGOs and governments accountable for making positive changes. The ultimate goal is to end extreme poverty around the world within young people’s lifetimes.


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