Recession Or Not, Communities Around The World Need Leadership From The Private Sector – Forbes

Joint editorial by Global Citizen and Kristina Joss, Vice President of Growth at GlobalGiving
The crises that have started or worsened in the past year are almost uncountable. Globally, the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed nearly 100 million more people into extreme poverty and is reversing recent trends of shrinking inequality, leading to the loss of at least three years of progress.
Without urgent action NOW, this backsliding will only worsen. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has further aggravated the situation, with as many as 323 million people now facing acute hunger, and 1.2 billion people living in nations experiencing food, energy, and financial crises. If we don’t take action NOW, as many as 200 million more people may be plunged into extreme poverty by November.
At a time when every dollar truly matters for people in need, the corporate sector’s more than $21 billion in annual philanthropic contributions can be a lifeline. They can also help bridge the gap in funding as government development budgets either stagnate or decline.
But with widespread uncertainty and a recession looming, companies are likely questioning their philanthropic spend. Corporate contributions are critical in meeting the surging needs of communities around the world. We’ve seen the impact those contributions can have, so even a small reduction in the sector’s philanthropic activity would have consequences for communities fighting to get by.
When the COVID-19 pandemic started, corporate donations flooded into international, regional, and local organizations around the world. In April 2020, during Global Citizen’s historic broadcast ‘One World: Together At Home,’ we raised over $65 million in corporate financial and in-kind commitments in response to the COVID-19 crisis. In April 2022 during the Global Citizen Stand Up for Ukraine Campaign, we raised over $20 million worth of financial and in-kind commitments from the private sector for emergency relief for both international and local organizations.
Given the current intersection of global crises, we’re seeing the same urgent need and the opportunity for the private sector to stay the course now because their commitments matter — and communities are counting on them.
While companies are feeling and fearing the effects of economic declines, communities worldwide are affected even more acutely. Inflation and market disruptions will only add to the challenges people in the poorest countries face to get water, food, income, and health care. It will become more difficult for them to meet their daily needs and simply survive.
That’s why we need to invest in local changemakers — no matter what the market is doing.
That should be important to companies because supporting community-led development in areas that are supply chain hubs and employees’ homes is key to a company’s long-term resilience.
And it’s a moral imperative.
People are experiencing the effects of global inequality, war, and extreme weather right now. And in our increasingly interconnected society, local challenges have global impacts on businesses and communities alike. We have to look beyond market signals and headlines and take action to strengthen our systems against the crises that are happening and the ones that lie ahead.
The good news? The people who are most affected are also best positioned to implement the solutions.
Mrs. Olatundun, a teacher for the iLEAD Fellowship in Abuja, Nigeria, is one. She’s training the next generation of social changemakers in the country. They are university graduates who are passionate about bringing their skills to teach in schools where students face economic challenges, barriers to education, and limited job opportunities.
“I am a force for positive change,” Mrs. Olatundun said of her efforts to nurture young teachers and uplift her community.
L.E.A.P AFRICA, the organization that supports Mrs. Olatundun, is just one of our nonprofit partners working to end poverty and make meaningful change in sub-Saharan Africa.
Women in Progress dba Global Mamas in Ghana is another. The organization strives to help women achieve financial independence by supporting their production of handmade fabric art known as batik.
There’s also BASICS International, which is focused on using education to achieve social equality in Ghana, and Junior Achievement Africa, which trains young people across Ghana to investigate climate-related problems and design solutions to address them.
And Alliance for African Women Initiative works to give women access to capital to grow their small businesses while Ghana Educational Collaboration provides Ghanaian students with scholarships, mentorship, and a peer community to help them achieve their highest aspirations.
The only match for our society’s uncountable challenges is the network of changemakers and organizations already working to solve them. But they can’t do it alone.
Global Citizen and GlobalGiving are partnering with these locally based, high-impact organizations to break systemic barriers, take climate action, empower girls, and end extreme poverty. The 2022 Global Citizen Festival on Sept. 24 is the time for your company to offer support and accelerate their missions.
What’s clear amid all the uncertainty is that the progress we make to address the world’s greatest challenges depends on our willingness to fuel community-led change. It will take all of us to create a better, more sustainable future — and our future can’t wait.
Joint editorial by Global Citizen and Kristina Joss, Vice President of Growth at GlobalGiving

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