Nigerian singer-songwriter Yemi Alade was today appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Kicking off her new role as the COVID-19 pandemic surges around the world, Alade will help shine a spotlight on the disproportionate impact of the health and socio-economic crisis on the poorest and most vulnerable people, who are often women, especially in developing nations.
“Women are among the 4 billion people who are trying to survive COVID-19 without any form of social protection,” said Alade.
“I want to lend my voice to these women and other vulnerable people who make up half of the world that’s struggling to make ends meet. They don’t have the luxury of working from home and are putting their health at risk just to put food on the table.”
“But as we address poverty and inequality in our COVID-19 recovery plans, we can’t put climate change on the back burner,” Alade said. “Climate change and poverty go hand-in-hand, and neither is gender-neutral. Women in developing countries, such as my homeland Nigeria, are disproportionately affected by both.”
“We can’t wait to hit the ground running with you, Yemi. We look forward to hearing and sharing the issues that you are passionate about — including women’s empowerment and tackling inequality,” said Steiner as he welcomed Alade to the UNDP family via video.
“We at UNDP will also be working to amplify your voice on the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 in developing countries and the importance of a green and equitable recovery for all.”
Alade feels strongly that responses to the pandemic provide an opportunity to build back better and greener.
She will advocate for transformational changes towards a sustainable future and a new normal: one where all people are able to live in harmony with nature.
This includes lending support to The Lion’s Share, a UNDP initiative dedicated to protecting biodiversity, which Alade feels is critically important as we battle a global pandemic and strive to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.