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WFP chief asks Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk to ‘step up now’ to help tackle world hunger

WFP chief asks Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk to ‘step up now’ to help tackle world hunger

Billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk should “step up now, on a one-time basis”, said director of the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) David Beasley.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, World Food Programme (WFP) Director David Beasley and Tesla CEO Elon Musk Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, World Food Programme (WFP) Director David Beasley and Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Small group of billionaires can help in tackling world hunger with a small percentage of their net worth, stated the World Food Programme. Billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk should “step up now, on a one-time basis”, said director of the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) David Beasley. Beasley said in an interview with CNN that $6 billion is needed to help 42 million people “that are literally going to die if we don’t reach them. It’s not complicated.”

He further said that he is asking for only 2 per cent of Elon Musk’s fortune. Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s soaring net worth has made him more valuable than Exxon Mobil Corp. His wealth jumped to $288.6 billion on Monday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The $36.2 billion gain followed a surge in Tesla’s stock price after Hertz Global Holdings ordered 100,000 cars.

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Beasley further noted that a “perfect storm” of crises like the coronavirus pandemic and climate change imply that several nations are “knocking on famine’s door”.  It seems like climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic are not the only crises the world is dealing with right now. The WFP has also published a report recently which states that more than half the population of Afghanistan (22.8 million people) will face acute food shortages beginning from November.

The Integrated Food Security and Phase Classification (IPC) report has also found out that more than one in two Afghans will face crisis (IPC Phase 3) or emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of acute food insecurity through November 2021 to March 2022 lean season. This report mentions that this is the highest number of acutely food insecure people ever recorded since 2011, the year when the UN began conducting IPC (Integrated Food Security and Phase Classification) analyses in Afghanistan.

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It further states that the “FAO (Food and Agricultural Organisation) and WFP have been alerting the world to huge funding shortfalls and the need for urgent action by the international community before it is too late.” Beasley said in this report, “Hunger is rising and children are dying. We can’t feed people on promises – funding commitments must turn into hard cash, and the international community must come together to address this crisis, which is fast spinning out of control.”

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Published on: Oct 27, 2021, 12:45 PM IST
Posted by: Mehak Agarwal, Oct 27, 2021, 12:37 PM IST