UNDP Turkey names Lille’s Yazıcı advocate for fighting poverty
Hazal Özcan – ANKARA
French football club Lille’s Turkish striker Yusuf Yazıcı has recently joined the global fight against poverty and has been named the “no poverty advocate” by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
With an online ceremony and press conference on April 27, UNDP Turkey announced Yazıcı as an advocate to fight poverty, which is included in its sustainable development goals.
“For the last year, the pandemic has shown us that if we are to become happy in this world, we need to do it together,” Yazıcı said during his speech.
Emphasizing the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on poverty, Yazıcı dubbed the issue “the biggest one in the history of humanity.”
According to him, there is only one cause for poverty around the world, and that’s “injustice.”
“Right now, as we are speaking here, 25,000 children are dying from impoverishment,” he said.
The successful football player is determined to find a permanent solution and take action accordingly to eliminate poverty from the world.
Pointing out that more than 750 million people across the globe are unable to meet their basic necessities, Yazıcı also said, “There is more than enough food, water, medicine, and air for all of us.”
Meanwhile, UNDP Turkey Resident Representative Claudio Tomasi said it was important to merge sports with sustainable development goals as it “integrates people and speaks to their hearts.”
“[Sports] is based on action. It is not to talk, but it is to do,” Tomasi said.
The United Nations has embraced 17 sustainable development goals, ranging in many global issues from education, gender equality, and climate. The “No Poverty” goal is the first one among them, aiming to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere.”
According to a report by the World Bank, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic pushed about 120 million people to poverty in 2020. The pandemic caused the first increase in global poverty in two decades.
The report also estimated that by the end of 2021, the total number of people living in poverty would rise to nearly 250 million.
A person is considered to be living in extreme poverty if their income falls below the international poverty line of $1.90 per day.