Angela Merkel sends message of support that includes IFAD at Global Citizens’ Mandela 100 Festival

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Angela Merkel sends message of support that includes IFAD at Global Citizens’ Mandela 100 Festival

Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel calls on the international community to increase food production and help create jobs in rural areas to help defeat poverty and hunger.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel sent a message of support to IFAD while calling for the elimination of global poverty and hunger during the Global Citizen Mandela 100 Festival held 2 December in Johannesburg South Africa.

The Global Citizen festival, part of a movement to end extreme poverty, brought together heads of state, dignitaries, artists and influencers, as well as an audience of millions via television broadcast and social media, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela's birth. Beyoncé, Oprah Winfrey, Naomi Campbell, Pharrell Williams, Usher and other international stars were among those who gathered for the charity concert.

During the event, via video message, Chancellor Merkel called on the international community to increase food production and create jobs in rural areas to help defeat poverty and hunger.

"With the 2030 Agenda, the nations of the world have pledged to give all people the chance to live healthy and safe lives of their own devising. Overcoming poverty and hunger is the perquisite for this – and will also follow from it," she said. "One of our first tasks, therefore, is to increase food production. That would also create better job opportunities and livelihoods in rural areas. Germany is one of the biggest donors to the International Fund for Agricultural Development and we will make available 63 million euro to this organization over the next three years."

As part of Global Citizen's campaign to end extreme poverty, the 200,000 people attending the live concert at FNB stadium won tickets by doing charity work as well as by signing petitions.

Global Citizen concerts provide a platform to government leaders, CEOs and others, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Bank, to make financial commitments in support of poverty reduction. During the South Africa event, governments from a number of countries, including Canada, Ireland, Kenya, Germany, Norway, South Africa and the United States, make commitments.

As a result of a year-long campaign which ended with the South Africa event, Global Citizen has facilitated $5.4 billion in new commitments.

Sara Mbago-Bhunu, IFAD's Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, was on hand during the festival, taking part in a high-level panel the day before the concert. She was joined by World Food Programme Assistant Executive Director Valerie Guarnieri and Hanitranirina Rarison, an agronomist specializing in food sciences from Madagascar. Gerda Verburg, Coordinator of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement moderated the event.