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UN World Food Program Director calls on billionaires to “step forward” after Nobel Peace Prize

The United Nations World Food Program is the winner of the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for the fight against hunger in the world and for its efforts “to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict”. Last year, the program provided assistance to nearly 100 million people in 88 countries.

David Beasley, executive director of the UN agency and former governor of South Carolina, told CBSN on Friday that the award is an “honor and a blessing”, especially “at a time like this.” According to Beasley, the number of people on the verge of hunger ̵

1; not people who go to bed hungry – went from 135 million to 270 million during the coronavirus pandemic.

“With all the wealth we have in the world today, we have a cure for hunger, we have a cure for famine, we have a cure and it’s called food. But we need the money,” Beasley said. “Our people are dedicated to doing this job, getting it out and saving lives.”

The Nobel Peace Prize comes with a $ 1 million cash prize, but Beasley said the World Food Program needs about $ 5 billion to feed the world’s hungry and hungry people. He invited billionaires to do record profits think about the greater good during the pandemic.

“This is a call to action for the world to come forward, especially the billionaires who are making billions of dollars in COVID,” he said. “They have to take a step forward. We need five billion dollars right now for real – beyond what we normally get – to help stop millions of people from starving. It’s not too much to ask those who are. making billions right now. “

During the first three months of the pandemic, the net worth of the more than 600 billionaires in the United States grew by about 20%. Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon, saw his net worth increase by $ 43.8 billion in the first months of the pandemic.

“We are feeding about 100 million people right now. Due to COVID, economic deterioration, wars and conflicts, we need to escalate that,” Beasley said. “Otherwise, millions and millions of people will die in the coming months from all these complexities.”

Beasley, who has recovered from a COVID-19 case himself, said the program’s network of food supply chains was disrupted during the pandemic, making what was already a treacherous task – moving tons of food across zones. of war and natural disasters – much more difficult.

In April, Beasley told CBS News’ Pamela Falk that the the worst was yet to come from the pandemic due to the destabilization of the economies of donor countries. In July, he claimed that more than 11 million people in Latin America are “marching towards the edge of hunger“because of the economic conditions exacerbated by the pandemic.

“When countries close their borders, or ports, or supply chain distribution points, sometimes this is the only port of opportunity to bring food to a country,” he said. In addition to the closure of physical entry points, Beasley also noted that the pandemic has devastated international rates remittance, money sent home by citizens living abroad, leaving entire economies devastated. He said two billion people have been affected in terms of remittances, adding that “it has already achieved over $ 100 billion worth of less income for families in very poor countries.”

In awarding the Nobel Prize to the World Food Program, the committee noted that, despite the obstacles brought by the coronavirus pandemic, the program has continued to provide its valuable assistance. While the world waits for a Vaccine against covid-19, he said, the best vaccine against chaos is food.

“COVID has had a dynamic negative impact,” Beasley said. “We need to work together on these two pandemics, otherwise there will be more people starving than from COVID itself.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported the number of people the World Food Program provided assistance in 2019. It provided assistance to nearly 100 million people in 88 countries.

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