The global hunger crisis, "caused by conflict" and further compounded by the coronavirus pandemic, is now moving into a "new and dangerous phase - especially in nations already scarred by violence", and it may be a good time for the private sector to help feed the hungry, United Nations World Food Programme executive director David Beasley announced in his remarks to a recent UN Security Council virtual session on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict.
Noting how, thanks to WFP's donors, the organization continues to succeed in "keeping people alive and avoiding a humanitarian catastrophe", Beasley warned that "we’re not out of the woods" yet, as some 270 million people are "marching toward the brink of starvation" and require help more than ever.
"Your continued support for humanitarian programmes is critical right now. It’s a matter of life and death - literally. For millions of people in the countries being discussed today. And for many millions more in the other countries edging closer to the brink of starvation", he said. "We know that, already, there are 30 million people who rely solely on WFP for their survival. That’s the only food they get. If they don’t get the food we provide, they die."
Arguing that "the governments are strapped" and "that people are strapped financially", Beasley suggested that it may be a good time for the private sector to "step up", noting that there are over 2,000 billionaires with a net worth of $8 trillion in the world, adding that there are 12 individuals alone worth $1 trillion in the US and that "reports state that three of them made billions upon billions during COVID".
"I am not opposed to people making money, but humanity is facing the greatest crisis any of us have seen in our lifetimes. 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 truly love your neighbour", Beasley declared. "The world needs you right now and it’s time to do the right thing."