Millions of people in about 43 countries are at risk of famine, the most extreme form of hunger that can result in death. David Beasley, the executive director of the program says it would only take up a small group of the ultra-wealthy individuals to prevent that from happening if only they could chip in a small fraction of their net worth.
In an interview on CNN, Beasley said Billionaires need to step up now on a one-time basis citing specifically the world’s two richest men, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos whose wealth has doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Musk the CEO and founder of electric vehicle giant, Tesla, is nearing a $300 billion net worth, if ever, he would be the first to person to have such hefty wealth by himself, according to CNBC. David Beasley is asking these world billionaires to only chip in 2% of his fortune which would amount to about 6 billion to help 42 million people in dire need of food aid
UN’s World Food Programme blames the hunger crisis on a “toxic cocktail” of conflict, climate change, disasters, structural poverty and inequality. World hunger reached a 15 year high in 2020, according to a United Nations report that outlined how the pandemic has reversed so many years of progress in solving the problem that is global malnutrition.
According to progressive groups Institute for Policy Studies and Americans for Tax fairness, the net worth of US billionaires has almost doubled since the pandemic began.
Most countries of the world are teetering on the edge of a humanitarian crisis with acute hunger, rampant unemployment and the unending liquidity crisis being the main causes of suffering. New reports have indicated that climate change is driving migration, the first time US government is officially recognizing the link between climate change and migration. WFP has warned about this swell movement in the past particularly in the dry corridor.
Ethiopia which has for a while now experienced conflict in its Northern Tigray region after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed led a major counteroffensive against the Tigray People’s Liberation Font since November of 2020 is in dire need of food assistance with an estimated 5.2 million people facing acute hunger. Thousands have since been killed and more than 2 Million others being displaced.
In Haiti for instance , a country suffering from political, social and economic instability is also in urgent need of food aid with roughly half of the population experiencing food insecurity, this is according to WFP
WFP and other humanitarian aid organizations have struggled to get supplies to those in need as well as paying aid workers thereby compounding a crisis. If the world’s top 400 billionaires chipped in, all it would take to prevent famine is 36% of their total net worth increases.