Washington: The head of the World Food Program and Nobel Peace Prize 2020 winner, again urged billionaires to donate just a few billion to save millions of lives.
On Friday, David Beasley said that the number of people marching toward starvation has jumped from 135 million to 270 million during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Humanity needs the help right now, he said.
“This is a one-time request. … The world is at a crossroads, and we need from the billionaires to step up in a way they’ve never stepped up before,” he said.
The executive director of the UN food agency told a virtual UN press conference that the global wealth of some 2,200 billionaires rose by about $2 trillion between April and July as the pandemic raged.
He was referring to a study by Swiss bank UBS and accounting firm PwC published last week which said the global wealth of billionaires climbed from $8 trillion at the start of 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.
Asked for names of some of the billionaires he was targeting, Beasley replied, “I don’t get to hang around with that crowd. I’m hanging around people who are starving to death.”
He said WFP is greatly concerned about 2021 because budgets weren’t calculated to take into account the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the humanitarian crises in the world are worsening, with Yemen the worst of the worst of the worst, Africas Sahel region undoubtedly one of the worst, Congo just horrific and Syria deteriorating.
He said many other countries are also deteriorating including Nigeria, South Sudan and Ethiopia.