Istanbul has been voted one of the 15 top cities in the 2021-2022 Global Mayors Challenge organized by Bloomberg Philanthropies, a global innovation competition to identify and accelerate the most ambitious ideas developed by cities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The city, which entered the competition with its Askida Fatura (Pay It Forward) initiative, was awarded USD 1M to further the project. The initiative is a social support and solidarity project developed in response to the COVID-19-driven poverty.
Istanbul’s Askida Fatura campaign, which was founded by Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, is a digital platform that anonymously matches donors with those unable to afford utility bills. In addition to the award, the project will receive technical support and coaching over the course of three years.
“We have won the Bloomberg Global Mayors Challenge award with Askida Fatura, a platform where technology meets our culture of solidarity. With the support of this award, Askida Fatura will spread to other cities and Istanbul will set an example for the rest of the world,” Mayor Imamoglu said in a video message on Twitter.
The 15 winning cities hailed from 13 nations on eight continents and collectively represented more than 40 million residents. They were selected from among 50 Champion Cities that spent the past four months rigorously testing and refining their projects. Mayors from 631 cities in 99 countries submitted their ideas to the competition when it was launched in January 2021.