The Head of the World Food Program (WFP) David Beasley attends a press conference on an updated aid appeal for South Sudan on 15 May 2017 at the UN Office in Geneva.
FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP via Getty Images
The UN's chief food officer has called on billionaires and businesses to rescue 30 million people worldwide who are at risk of starvation this year without help.
UN Secretary-General for the World Food Program David Beasley said on Thursday that the organization is demanding $ 4.9 billion to feed those at risk for one year.
"Worldwide, there are over 2,000 billionaires with a net worth of $ 8 trillion. In my home country, the United States, there are 1
"In fact, it reports that three of them made billions upon billions during Covid. I do not oppose people making money, but humanity is facing the greatest crisis. Some of us have seen in our lives."
As the world recovered from the coronavirus crisis, a number of CEOs saw their net worth rise in the midst of a broad market stay, led by the technology sector. According to Forbes' real-time data, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos will remain the world's richest person with a net worth of $ 177.9 billion as of Friday. It was reported that he had added $ 13 billion in a single day in July.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos
Alex Wong | Getty Images
In terms of net worth, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg are worth $ 115.4 billion and $ 93.7 billion, respectively, while Tesla CEO Elon Musk's net worth is estimated at $ 88.9 billion. dollars.
Beasley pointed out that the Covid-19 pandemic had exacerbated widespread food insecurity caused by years of conflict in Nigeria, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Yemen. This, combined with conflict and climate change, meant that "the 270 million people marching against hunger need our help more than ever," he said, dubbing 2021 a "make-or-break year."
The WFP is working with more than 50 governments to increase its safety nets, in an effort to help 138 million people and avert what Beasley called a "famine pandemic."
"We are doing just about everything we can to stop the dam from bursting. But without the resources we need, a wave of hunger and hunger is still threatening to sweep across the globe," Beasley said. "And if it does, it will overwhelm nations and societies already weakened by years of conflict and instability."
Villagers collect food aid from a plane in rabbit bags from a plane to a drop zone in a village in Ayod County, South Sudan, where the World Food Program (WFP) has just carried out a food drop of grain and supplementary aid on 6 February 2020.  Tony Karumba | AFP | Getty Images
He told the Security Council that the international community was "completely without excuses" for failing to act, but noted that "governments are bound" and called on the private sector to step up its efforts.
"It's time for those who have the most to step up, to help those who have the least in this extraordinary time in world history. To show you that you truly love your neighbor," Beasley said. "The world needs you right now, and it's time to do the right thing."
World leaders have pledged to end global hunger and malnutrition by 2030 as part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Beasley praised the efforts of countries around the world to support citizens during the pandemic, along with the G-20 advanced economies and the IMF to halt debt repayment to poorer countries.