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Nobel laureate urges billionaires to save millions from starvation

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Humanity needs help now, said David Beasley. This is a single requirement. … The world is at a crossroads and we need billionaires to grow in a way they have never grown before.

The executive director of the UN food agency said in a virtual press conference of the UN that the global wealth of about 2,200 billionaires increased by about 2 trillion dollars between April and July as the pandemic was raging. He was referring to a study by Swiss bank UBS and accounting firm PwC published last week, which said the billionaires’ global wealth rose from $ 8 trillion in early April to $ 10.2 trillion in July.

I just need a few billion to save millions of lives and save humanity from one of the greatest catastrophes since World War II, Beasley said. Not much to ask.

Asked about the names of some billionaires he was targeting Beasley replied: I am not going to hang out with that crowd. I am hanging around people who are dying of hunger.

He said WFP is very concerned about 2021 because budgets have not been calculated to take into account the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beasley said rich countries put $ 17 trillion in economic stimulus packages for their citizens to tackle the coronavirus, and that is $ 17 trillion that will not be available for 2021.

This year, he said, many governments have gone deeper into their pockets as they could and have given the UN and its agencies more money, but governments have now been removed.

Beasley said debts to middle- and low-income countries were put on hold or postponed until January 2021, and that’s $ 8 trillion of debt services coming in to pay off. Moreover, remittances from overseas workers to households in developing countries have declined and blockages are being added to deteriorating economies.

It’s a terrible situation, he said.

Beasley said that is why a one-time infusion of money from billionaires is so essential for 2021.

He said the humanitarian crises in the world are getting worse, with Yemen the worst the worst the worst, the African Sahel region definitely one of the worst, the Congo just awful and Syria the worst. He said many other countries are also deteriorating including Nigeria, South Sudan and Ethiopia.

Beasley took COVID-19 in March and resumed the journey, including to Nigeria on the Sahel where he was last week when the announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize in the World Food Program shocked and delighted the United Nations staff and wider family.

The WFP chief said he went to the Sahel because no one is bringing to the world the disasters that are unfolding in a catastrophic way, and this is the time we all need to come together.

So all hands on deck, Beasley said. If we do not get the support we need, you can literally see hunger in dozens of places. But if we get support, we need to avoid hunger.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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