As the worldwide danger of food hunger intensifies as a result of Russia’s conflict in Ukraine, the director of the UN’s World Food Program is urging billionaires to “stand up,” claiming he’s seen positive indications from some of the world’s wealthiest individuals, like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.
Agency Executive Director David Beasley expanded upon a social media back-and-forth he had with Musk the previous year. At the time, the Tesla CEO challenged policy advocates to prove how a gift of $US6 billion ($8.4 billion) requested by the UN agency could address the problem of global hunger. Beasley built upon that conversation.
“Musk has invested $6 billion in a foundation since then,” says the article. But everyone assumed it would come to us, but we haven’t received any of it yet. In an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where the world’s wealthiest and most powerful people have congregated, Beasley said, “I’m optimistic.” “I’m not sure what it’ll take,” he remarked of Musk. “You know, we’re doing everything: Elon, we need your aid, brother.”
Musk and Bezos did not immediately reply to requests for comment through email or other means. Beasley’s challenge comes as new research predicted that by November, over 1.9 billion people would be food insecure. According to the analysis, which was presented at the Global Citizen NOW Summit in New York on Monday, as many as 243 million people might face food insecurity as a result of what UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has dubbed a “storm of hunger” exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine.
According to a regulatory filing, Musk, the world’s wealthiest man, gave around 5 million shares of Tesla stock worth about $5.7 billion to an unnamed charity in November.
It occurred after Musk tweeted in late October that he would sell $US6 billion in Tesla shares and donate the proceeds to the Global Food Program if the organization could explain how the funds would be used to combat world hunger. Musk’s gift was not identified in the US Securities and Exchange Commission report.
Beasley said that his message was not just directed at those two high-profile tech moguls, but also to other billionaires. “The whole globe is in grave danger. This isn’t nonsense or rhetoric. “Now is the time to step up because the world needs you,” he remarked.
Together, Ukraine and Russia are responsible for the export of one-third of the world’s wheat and barley as well as fifty percent of the world’s sunflower oil. Additionally, Russia is the leading provider of fertilizer, the price of which has recently skyrocketed. The Kremlin is accused of jamming Ukrainian ports, threatening food shortages, and political turmoil in nations throughout Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
The danger to the world food supply has been a major worry for authorities, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, said last week that he was in “intense contact” with Russia and other important nations and is “hopeful” of a solution to enable the sale of grain held in Ukrainian ports and guarantee that Russian food and fertilizer have free access to global markets. This was in response to a question about whether or not he was in “intense contacts” According to Beasley, “it is going to be hell on earth” if Ukraine’s supplies continue to be withheld from the market for the next ten to twelve months. This might pose an issue for the supply of food throughout the globe.