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Hugh Evans
HUGH EVANS is an Australian humanitarian and an internationally renowned development advocate. Hugh is the Co-Founder and CEO of the Global Poverty Project.

Hugh Evans’ passion for poverty eradication was sparked at the age of 14 whilst on a World Vision trip in the Philippines. Living with his host family in a Manila Slum, Hugh was struck by the injustice of a world in which birthplace determines your life prospects. The abject poverty Hugh was exposed to Manila, and his experiences in India the following year, led him to begin his work challenging the status quo of extreme poverty.

Following a trip to South Africa in 2002 as World Vision's inaugural Youth Ambassador, Hugh co-founded the Oaktree Foundation; Australia's first youth run aid organization, with a mission to bring young people together to see an end to global poverty. Since 2003, Oaktree has helped fund development projects providing educational opportunities to over 40,000 young people in developing countries around the world. Oaktree’s success under Hugh’s guidance as Director, led to Hugh being named Young Australian of the Year (2004) and Junior Chamber International Person of the World (2005).

Hugh then began working to grow the Make Poverty History campaign in Australia, helping run the 2006 Make Poverty History Concert fronted by U2 singer Bono and the 2007 Make Poverty History Roadtrip, which saw campaign images projected onto the sails of the Sydney Opera House. The impact of these campaigns were later credited with playing a key role in the Government’s decision to increase its committed foreign aid budget from 0.3% of Gross National Income by 2015 to 0.5% of Gross National Income by 2015, resulting in an additional $4.3 billion per annum invested in the world’s poorest.

In 2008, with a grant from the United Nations, Australian government and British government, Hugh continued to build his impact in the aid and development sector, co-founding the Global Poverty Project (GPP). GPP is an education and advocacy organization committed to increasing the number and effectiveness of individuals taking action to end extreme poverty. The Project launched in Australia in 2009 and has since expanded to New Zealand, the United Kingdom and USA. In 2010 it helped launch the million dollar, international fundraising campaign Live Below the Line, and in 2011 Global Poverty Project worked alongside the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation to execute The End of Polio campaign which leveraged $118 million in funds to eradicate Polio.

Entries by Hugh Evans

Toilets: A Simple and Surprising Way to Advance Equality for Girls and Women

(2) Comments | Posted April 14, 2015 | 5:26 PM

By: Congressman Charles Rangel and Hugh Evans

Getting a toilet into every home could be one of the best ways to promote equality for girls and women.

In a piece published on BBC India last year, newscaster Soutik Biswas explained that defecating in the open puts women in a dangerous position. They are stared at by local boys, threatened, and forced to endure sexual violence. One mother explained that, "We have had one-on-one fights with thugs in order to save our daughters from getting raped. It then becomes a fight that either you [the thug] kill me to get to my daughter or you back off."

Nearly half-a-billion Indian citizens -- or 48 percent of the country's population - lack access to basic sanitation and must defecate in the open. Women are the biggest victims of this sanitation crisis. Girls and women who are forced to defecate in the open become vulnerable to sexual violence when traveling to and from public facilities or open fields. Last year, two teenage girls in Uttar Pradesh were raped and hanged while going to defecate in the fields.

We applaud India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi for working hard to increase access to water and sanitation in his country and around the world. Prime Minister Modi has regularly promised, "Toilets first, Temples later." Creating a world that is open defecation free requires the support of not just Prime Minister Modi, but donor countries like the United States.

Thanks to the passage of the Water for the World Act in the U.S. Congress last year, the structures are in place to ensure that U.S. funding for water and sanitation programs have the greatest possible impact. Subsequently, our primary focus has been to work with organizations like WaterAid America, WASH Advocates, and World Vision to ensure that the Water for the Poor account is adequately funded. By increasing funding for water and sanitation to $425 million in fiscal year 2016, the United States can continue to expand opportunities for girls and women around the world.

This increase, from $382.5 million in 2015, represents a positive signal of support to countries like India as they make significant strides toward ending open defecation. Specifically, this funding increase will support USAID to provide long-term, safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services to an additional 425,000 people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Lack of access to sanitation is a problem worldwide. Of course, increasing access to toilets is not a silver bullet. Heightened assistance is needed to see similar progress in countries around the world. We must call on world leaders to increase funding for water and sanitation.

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Why April Is an Opportunity to Stop People Dying From Pollution

(4) Comments | Posted April 8, 2015 | 1:55 PM

It is difficult to conceptualize the impact of pollution. As a collective, we know pollution exists. We know it's bad for the planet, we know it's harmful to our species in a vague, futuristic sense. Yet today, experts acknowledge that the link between air pollution and public health is much...

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Clean Water: A Simple Way to Increase Opportunity for Women and Girls

(0) Comments | Posted April 3, 2015 | 5:39 PM

Co-authored by Bridget Moynahan, actress and Global Citizen Ambassador.

Taking a shower, boiling some vegetables or just getting a glass of water is as easy as turning on a faucet. But taking care of life's most basic necessities isn't so straightforward for so many around the world.

Millions of...

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#ShowYourSelfie For Youth

(0) Comments | Posted August 12, 2014 | 3:56 PM

Kadiga, 17, was subjected to Female Genital Mutilation as a child. Like millions of girls in a similar situation, she will face countless risks to her health and untold pain as a result of decisions taken about her by others. But opinions in her community in Afar, Ethiopia, have recently...

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Action Will Lead Us to the End of Extreme Poverty

(0) Comments | Posted July 30, 2014 | 1:55 PM

Earlier this month we announced the line-up of the third annual
Global Citizen Festival, a free, advocacy driven concert on the Great Lawn of Central Park in New York on Sept. 27, that will feature some of the world's greatest artists: JAY Z, No Doubt, Carrie Underwood,...

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A Common Passion for Ending Extreme Poverty

(0) Comments | Posted September 27, 2013 | 12:02 PM

By Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Hugh Evans, co-Founder and CEO of the Global Poverty Project

Even though we grew up two generations apart, our separate experiences set off a common spark of inspiration within us to end poverty...

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Telecommunications Industry Could Change the World This September

(0) Comments | Posted September 4, 2013 | 1:19 PM

Broadband and airtime. We all use it. We have all become dependent on it and it is hard to imagine life without being able to connect with anyone at a moment's notice. Access to the web and speedily sending a text message or image across the world in a millisecond...

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Calling All Global Citizens: Small Actions to Create Big Impact Against Global Poverty

(1) Comments | Posted July 11, 2013 | 10:00 AM

This week we announced that Stevie Wonder, Kings of Leon, Alicia Keys and John Mayer will headline the second annual Global Citizen Festival, September 28, on the Great Lawn of Central Park in New York. Presented by Cotton On Foundation -- which has helped build the best performing...

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Can Two Tickets Change the World?

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 10:44 AM

We know firsthand how powerful music is for bringing people together and creating change. Music transcends boundaries and languages. It moves us. It inspires us. And, it can be used to help us become aware of issues and ideas we may not have heard about before.

Throughout our careers, we've...

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Technology to End Extreme Poverty

(16) Comments | Posted September 24, 2012 | 11:22 AM

Using an iPhone in downtown New York, or typing at a keyboard in suburban Houston, you're a long way, physically and emotionally, from the more than one billion people on our planet who live on less than $1.50 each day.

The world's extreme poor -- concentrated largely in sub-Saharan...

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I Thought 'Aid Doesn't Work?'

(1) Comments | Posted February 13, 2012 | 7:16 PM

What we can learn from Rwanda

I've heard some great news from Rwanda this week. Rwanda may be on track to become one of the most compelling case studies in favour of foreign aid since South Korea emerged as an economic powerhouse late last century.

This week, the Government of...

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Highlighting the Plight of the Poor

(0) Comments | Posted May 20, 2011 | 3:33 PM

The Global Poverty Project welcomed the recent post, "Is The Global Poverty Project's 'Live Below The Line' Campaign An Effective Way To Help The Poor?"

Global Poverty Project staff, volunteers and supporters ask this question every day.

This is important -- debating the merits of what we do and...

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