Adolescent girls aged 10 to 18 hold the keys to a more sustainable future, but they require immense support to fully unlock their potential.

Young women in developing countries are the most vulnerable to extreme poverty and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the everyday challenges that they already faced, disrupting the limited sources and services they had. Their basic necessities — from food and health care to education and safety — are threatened on a daily basis.

But with the right tools and resources, girls can lift themselves and their families up and break cycles of poverty across their communities and the world.

As part of our year-long campaign, End Extreme Poverty NOW — Our Future Can’t Wait, Global Citizen is calling on the world to Empower Girls NOW.

Girls must be at the heart of recovery plans across the globe, and investments need to prioritize gender equality as a crucial aspect of the fight to end extreme poverty. Key international efforts require $400 million right now to address girls’ poverty and reach millions of young women in immediate need. In the long term, that number rises to the tens of billions.

G7 leaders in particular need to commit to new investments in girls’ education, nutrition, and health — including sexual and reproductive health and rights — while also tackling the unpaid care work crisis.

Here’s everything you need to know about how ending extreme poverty starts with investing in adolescent girls, and why it’s urgent that we take action now. Women and girls make up half the population. When they are in jeopardy of extreme poverty in low-income countries, their success is critical to ensuring everyone can thrive.

Read the full article about girls in poverty by Leah Rodriguez at Global Citizen.