Nigerian popstar Yemi Alade has been appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme.
Kicking off her new role as the COVID-19 pandemic surges around the world, Alade will help shine a spotlight on the impact of the crisis on the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, especially in developing nations.
She joins a list of celebrities, including actor Antonio Banderas and footballer Didier Drogba, who are raising awareness of poverty, inequality and climate change for the organization.
Alade called for a coronavirus recovery plans to focus more on women, particularly in her home country.
“Women are among the 4 billion people who are trying to survive COVID-19 without any form of social protection,” Alade said in a video statement last week.
“I want to lend my voice to these women and other vulnerable people who make up half of the world that are 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.”
The award-winning star also called on countries to refrain from putting climate change ‘on the back burner’ as they plan to rebuild their economies after the pandemic.
“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.”
Alade 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, according to UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner.
The singer gained global fame after becoming the first female Afro-pop artist to get more than 100 million views on YouTube. She has won multiple music awards and last year, was featured on Beyonce’s “The Lion King: The Gift” album and its visual counterpart, ‘Black is King.’
Alade is one of the artistes to feature at the THISDAY ARISE Group’s Nigeria@60 celebration.