Nigeria – Nigerian singer Yemi Alade has been named as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Her appointment was made public on 24 September.
The ‘Johnny’ hitmaker, who joins other top names such as Ivorian footballer Didier Drogba, Spanish film star Antonio Banderas and Crown Prince Haakon Magnus of Norway, is expected to use her fame toward advocating against the disproportionate health and socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on the poorest and most vulnerable, many of whom are women in developing countries.
“Women are among the 4 billion people who are trying to survive COVID-19 without any form of social protection,” Alade said. “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.”
She added: “As we address poverty and inequality in our COVID-19 recovery plans, we can’t put climate change on the back burner. 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.”
In a video(link is external) welcoming Alade to her new role, UNDP administrator Achim Steiner said: “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.
“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.”
Earlier this year, Alade was part of the launch of the UNDP’s Mission 1.5 climate action initiative. She was also among the international influencers responsible for promoting the organisation’s COVID-19 response efforts.