To celebrate a fantastic year of campaigning, we’ve put together a list of development superstars who Santa will surely be rewarding for their superb efforts in 2015! (Read the ONE naughty list here.)
But just in case the message doesn’t get to old Saint Nick, we’re asking you to pick your favorite from the list below and talk about it in the comments section, so they know that all their hard work has not been in vain.
So who has made our shortlist? Read on to find out!
This year we have had 250 Youth Ambassadors from seven different countries who have campaigned at the G7 summit in Munich with balloons to ask leaders to give us #MoreThanHotAir; lobbied at the UK Conservative and Labour Party conferences; and represented ONE at the United Nations General Assembly.
Wow. Just wow.
More recently, new Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has committed to increase the number of Syrian refugees brought into Canada from 10,000 to 25,000 and has promised an extra $100 million to help them meet their basic daily needs.
The Canadian government has also implemented a transparency law that will enable citizens in poor countries to hold their governments accountable for the use of oil, gas, and mining revenues.
Finally, Trudeau has stated that he is a feminist and after inauguration, as he had promised to do, selected a 50 percent female cabinet. When asked why, he said: “Because it’s 2015.”
No one could possibly disagree that France has had one of its worst years in recent history. From the shooting of Charlie Hebdo employees at the very start of the year, to the Paris attacks of November 13.
However, the country has SO much to be proud of this year. French MPs have voted for an increase of the 2016 ODA budget through several amendments that will generate new revenues, notably via the financial transactions tax. Thanks to the commitment of French MPs, ODA has been a major issue in political debate this year and for the first time in four years of cuts, the French ODA budget will increase by 5.5 percent in 2016.
President Hollande has also promised that public development aid from France will increase by €4 billion by 2020.
Excellent work, nos amis.
Poverty is Sexist supporters and Strong Girl artists
We’d like to say thanks to everyone this year who has helped us make our Poverty is Sexist campaign such a massive success!
Our report on the ways poverty disproportionately affects women and girls was reinforced by the amazing “Strong Girl” song, written and performed by leading female musicians from seven African countries including Kenya’s Victoria Kimani, South Africa’s Judith Sephuma and Mozambique’s Gambela, and Nigerian actress Omotola Jalade Ekeinde.
We had overwhelming success with the campaign, getting more than 1 million signatures, including HUGE names such as Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Meryl Streep and Sheryl Sandberg.
Our #Strengthie campaign also knocked it out of the park—people loved showing their support by posing and posting their strengthies online. We were particularly pleased to get a certain Nobel Peace Prize-winning education activist involved…
This year, Malala posed for a strengthie for us, released a documentary film about her life and continued in her fight for education across the world —including opening an all-girls school for Syrian refugees on her 18th birthday. Amazing work, as usual. Her commitment to education and gender equality knows no bounds!
On October 14, Irish Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, delivered the latest budget for 2016, which includes a whopping €40 million increase allocated to Overseas Development Aid (ODA). This means that Ireland will contribute €640 million in Development Assistance, next year—a huge 7 percent increase.
Ebola health workers
Health workers and local citizens have risked their lives to fight Ebola in West Africa this year. Though Guinea and Libera are still affected, it was declared that the outbreak in Sierra Leone had officially ended on November 7. Hats off to the brave men and women continuing to fight the disease. We hope 2016 brings further success—and quickly.
Italy’s prime minister recently committed that Italy would become the G7’s fourth biggest aid donor by 2017, up from seventh in 2015. The Italian premier has stated that this year, “Africa is a priority of the Italian foreign policy.”
The 346 MPs who signed our ‘Just Say Yes’ pledge
This year we got an amazing 53 percent of UK MPs to sign our pledge to commit to doing all they can to ensure that the majority of UK aid goes to the world’s poorest. Special mention to the Scottish National Party, all 56 of whom signed.
We’re praising the President of the European Parliament for his fantastic opening speech at the European Development Days, which stressed the importance of putting the fight against hunger and poverty at the top of the world’s agenda. He mentioned the significance of keeping development aid promises and tackling corruption and education—issues very close to our hearts here at ONE:
“A dream of humankind is within our reach: making extreme poverty history—if we, and I quote Bono, ‘don’t mess it up.’”
First, at the Global Citizen Festival in New York in September, European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans announced a commitment of €500 million for the EU trust fund for Syria, pledging it would be “extra money” and “additional to existing development funds.” Second, the EU budget for 2016 increased both funding for the refugee crisis and development aid. EU aid will reach an all-time high of €9.16 billion in 2016—a 5.2 percent increase compared to 2015.
One million of you said Poverty is Sexist.
36,700 of you asked UK MPs to “Just Say Yes” to ending extreme poverty, and 346 of them did just that.
148,466 of you joined our campaign for world leaders to increase funding for vaccines.
This year, more than 2 million people around the world joined ONE. There are now more than 7 million of you fighting for an end to extreme poverty and preventable disease.