The head of the World Food Program is pushing for billionaires to “get stronger” Associated Press

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) – The head of the UN World Food Program tells billionaires that it is “time to step up” as the global threat to food security grows Russia’s war in Ukrainesaying he has seen encouraging signs from some of the world’s richest people such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezas.

The agency’s chief executive David Beasley cited a conversation on social media with Musk last year when Tesla’s CEO challenged policymakers to show how a $ 6 billion donation requested by the UN could solve world hunger.

Since then, “Musk has put $ 6 billion into the fund. But everyone thought it had come to us, and we still haven’t gotten it. So I hope so, ”Beasley told the Associated Press World Economic Forum in DavosSwitzerland, where some of the world’s largest elites and billionaires have gathered.

“I don’t know what it will take,” he said of Mask. “We’re trying from all sides, you know: Elon, we need your help, brother.”

Musk and Bezos did not immediately respond to emails or other messages asking for comment.

Beasley’s challenge arose when a new study predicted that by November, nearly 1.9 billion people could face food security. Eurasia Group and DevryBV Sustainable Strategies presented a report at the Global Citizen NOW summit in New York on Monday, which said up to 243 million people could be exposed to food security due to what UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called a “hurricane of hunger.” . intensified by the war in Ukraine.

“Forecasts are bleak now,” Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans told the Associated Press. “This should not happen. Many institutions let people down. ”

Evans said he hopes the launch of the Global Citizen Impact Fund, which will require payments only on performance-based promises, will persuade people with ultra-high capital to donate more as they will already have proof of the effectiveness of their gifts. But in the short term, Erna Solberg, a former Norwegian prime minister and member of the board of Global Citizen, said at the summit that “Agenda item 1” is to export grain already harvested in Ukraine through its ports. . .

Musk, the richest man in the world, donated about 5 million shares of Tesla shares in November worth about $ 5.7 billion to the then-unidentified charity, according to regulations.

It came after Musk tweeted it in late October it sells $ 6 billion worth of Tesla shares and give the money to the World Food Program if the organization tells how that money will solve the world’s hunger problem. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has not named a single recipient of the Mask donation.

On Monday, Beasley told the AP that his message was not only to these two high-end technologists, but also to other billionaires.

“There are really serious problems in the world. This is not rhetoric and BS Step up now because the world needs you, ”he said.

Ukraine and Russia together export a third of the world’s wheat and barley and half of it sunflower oil, while Russia is a major supplier of fertilizers that have risen in price. The Kremlin forces are there accused of blocking Ukrainian portsand discontinuation of these available staple foods threatened by food shortages and political unrest in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

The a threat to world nutrition was a pressing concern of officials, and last week UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was in “intensive contact” with Russia and other key countries and “hopes” for an agreement that will allow grain exports stored in Ukrainian ports and provide Russian food and fertilizers have unlimited access to world markets.

If supplies from Ukraine remain out of the market, the world could face the problem of food availability in the next 10-12 months, and “it will be hell on earth,” Beasley said.

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