A one-time $6 billion donation from Musk, Bezos, and other billionaires could save 42 million people from starvation, World Food Programme director says
- The director of the World Food Programme says 42 million people are at high risk of starvation.
- David Beasley is calling on billionaires like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos to donate $6 billion to help.
- "Billionaires need to step up," he told CNN in an interveiw that aired Tuesday.
The director of the UN's food-assistance branch called on the billionaires Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos to chip in a one-time payment that he said could help save millions of people around the world at risk of starvation.
"The governments are tapped out," David Beasley, the executive director for the UN's World Food Programme, told CNN in an interview that aired Tuesday. "This is why and this is when the billionaires need to step up now on a one-time basis. Six billion dollars to help 42 million people that are literally going to die if we don't reach them."
He added: "It's not complicated. I'm not asking them to do this every day, every week, every year."
A UN report released in May found that at least 155 million people faced crisis levels of food insecurity in 2020.
Beasley told CNN at 42 million people were thought to be at the most dire level of food insecurity and were "knocking on famine's door."
"Just help me with them, one time," he said. "That's a $6 billion price tag."
Beasley attributed the hunger crisis to "a perfect storm of conflict, climate change, and COVID."
He noted that Bezos, the founder of Amazon, had seen his net worth increase by far more than $6 billion during the coronavirus pandemic. He added that Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, had recently had a net-worth increase of $6 billion in just one day.
As of Wednesday, Forbes estimated Musk's net worth at $253.8 billion and Bezos' at $196.1 billion . Both executives' fortunes are mostly a result their ownership of shares in companies they founded. Musk, for instance, saw his net worth rise by tens of billions of dollars on Monday alone as Tesla's stock soared on news of a large vehicle order by the car-rental firm Hertz.
"The top 400 billionaires in the United States, the net-worth increase was $1.8 trillion in the past year," Beasley told CNN. "All I'm asking for is .36% of your net-worth increase. I'm for people making money, but God knows I'm all for you helping people who are in great need right now. The world is in trouble."
Beasley offered to take any billionaire on a trip to show them what he called "the reality."
"We got a vaccine for this - it's called money, food," Beasley said. "It's easy. Billionaires need to step up."
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