Let’s ensure that #HalfTheWorld isn’t left behind by the COVID-19 and climate crises

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Clockwise from top left: UNDP Goodwill Ambassador, author and television host Padma Lakshmi; actor and environmentalist Ronen Rubinstein; and entrepreneur, advocate and model, Alexis Ren kick off the ‘World Is In Our Hands’ campaign. Photos: Justin Wu

UNDP is launching a global campaign to end poverty and raise awareness of the alarming rate at which COVID-19 and climate change are increasing inequalities around the world.

Among those hit hardest by both crises are the 4 billion people–fifty percent of the world’s population–who live in poverty and lack any social protections, such as unemployment benefits or healthcare. The World Bank estimates that up to 150 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty by 2021.

If we don’t address the COVID-19 and climate crises together, half of the world will be left behind.

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From left to right: Actor David Oyelowoa and UNDP Ocean Advocate and musician Cody Simpson are part of the #HalftheWorld campaign to raise awareness of the alarming rate at which COVID-19 and climate change are increasing inequalities around the world.

Worldwide influencers from the arts, entertainment, fashion, and gastronomy industries are posting their portraits with a drawing of a divided world in their palms. UNDP Goodwill Ambassador, author and television host Padma Lakshmi; entrepreneur, advocate and model Alexis Ren; actor and environmentalist Ronen Rubinstein; actor David Oyelowoare; and UNDP Ocean advocate and musician, Cody Simpson are part of the campaign.

Running now through 12 December — the fifth anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement signing — this initiative aims to foster a global awareness of the growing poverty and inequalities caused by two biggest crises of our time; climate change and COVID-19. To save our planet and leave no one behind, we have to win at both!

Portraits will be posted on the UN Development Programme’s digital channels, directed by photographer Justin Wu.

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