wfp chief asks billionaires to ‘step up’ amid looming food crisis
Russia – As the global threat of food insecurity rises as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the president of the United Nations’ World Food Program is asking billionaires to step up, claiming he’s seen encouraging signs from some of the world’s richest individuals, like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.
Agency Executive Director David Beasley capitalized on a social media exchange he had with Tesla CEO Elon Musk last year, in which Musk challenged policymakers to prove how a $6 billion donation sought by the United Nations agency could alleviate world hunger.
Musk has since invested $6 billion in a foundation. But everyone assumed it would come to us, but we haven’t received any of it yet. So I’m optimistic,’ Beasley told The Associated Press at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where some of the world’s wealthiest people have congregated.
He remarked of Musk, “I don’t know what it’s going to take.” We’re pursuing every avenue: Elon, we need your assistance, brother.
Musk and Bezos did not immediately respond to requests for comment via email or other means.
Beasley’s challenge comes as a new study predicted that by November, over 1.9 billion people will be food insecure. According to the report, which was presented at the Global Citizen NOW Summit in New York on Monday, as many as 243 million people could face food insecurity as a result of what United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has dubbed a “hurricane of hunger” exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine.
Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans told The Associated Press that the outlook is currently grim. This does not have to take place. Many institutions have failed people.
Evans expects that the creation of the Global Citizen Impact Fund, which will only require payment on promises based on results, would persuade ultra-high net worth individuals to donate more because their donations will already be proven beneficial.
However, in the short term, Erna Solberg, the former Norwegian prime minister and a member of the Global Citizen board, stated during the summit that Agenda Item #1 is to move the grain already harvested in Ukraine out of the nation through its ports.
According to a regulatory filing, Musk, the world’s richest man, donated around 5 million shares of Tesla stock worth roughly $5.7 billion to an unnamed charity in November.
It occurred after Musk tweeted in late October that he would sell $6 billion in Tesla stock and donate the proceeds to the World Food Program if the organization could explain how the money would be used to combat global hunger. Musk’s donation was not named in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Ukraine and Russia export a third of the world’s wheat and barley, as well as half of the world’s sunflower oil, and Russia is a major source of fertilizer, which has seen a price increase. The Kremlin is accused of jamming Ukrainian ports, threatening food shortages and political turmoil in countries across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
The threat to the global food supply has been a top priority for politicians, according to the United Nations. Last week, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was in close touch with Russia and other major countries and hoped to reach a solution that would allow grain stored in Ukrainian ports to be exported and ensure that Russian food and fertilizer have unhindered access to global markets.