A top official from the UN calls on billionaires to help save 30 million people who are at risk of dying from hunger.
These 30 million people may die without aid, and feeding them would cost $4.9 billion, according to UN World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley.
“Worldwide, there are over 2,000 billionaires with a net worth of $8 trillion. In my home country, the USA, there are 12 individuals alone worth $1 trillion,” Beasley said during a UN Security Council panel on world hunger.
“In fact, reports state that three of them made billions upon billions during Covid. I am not opposed to people making money, but humanity is facing the greatest crisis any of us have seen in our lifetimes,” he said about how billionaires can help save people from hunger.
Forbes real-time data revealed that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest person. He has a net worth of $177.9 billion and reportedly added $13 billion in a single day in July.
In his presentation, Beasley noted that the coronavirus pandemic had worsened food insecurity that is rooted in conflicts in South Sudan, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Yemen.
Add to that conflict and climate change. This situation indicates that “the 270 million people marching toward the brink of starvation need our help more than ever,” Beasley said.
The World Food Programme is coordinating with over 50 governments to improve their safety nets as they try to aid 138 million people and prevent what Beasley described as a “hunger pandemic.”
“We’re doing just about all we can do to stop the dam from bursting. But, without the resources we need, a wave of hunger and famine still threatens to sweep across the globe,” Beasley said.
“And if it does, it will overwhelm nations and communities already weakened by years of conflict and instability,” he noted.
The international community, according to Beasley, was “all out of excuses” for their failure to act, but stressed that “governments are strapped” and called on the private sector to give more.
“It’s time for those who have the most to step up, to help those who have the least in this extraordinary time in world history. To show you truly love your neighbor,” Beasley stressed. “The world needs you right now and it’s time to do the right thing.”
Global food prices
Meanwhile, global food prices increased for the third straight month in August, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Global food prices reportedly hit their highest levels since February. The FAO Food Price Index monitors the global prices of the most commonly traded food products.
The increase in global food prices was attributed to strong demand and a weaker dollar, according to the FAO.
China’s Bureau of Statistics reported that the country’s food prices increased by 11.2% from a year ago in August on the back of high pork prices due to the African swine fever outbreak. Pork prices increased by 52.6% from a year ago.
Data showed that vegetable prices soared by 6.4% from July. Egg prices increased by 11.3% in the same period due to seasonal demand surpassing low inventory levels.