Tue | May 30, 2023

UN food chief: Billions needed to avert unrest, starvation

Published:Saturday | April 1, 2023 | 7:34 PM
World Food Program chief David Beasley meets with villagers in the village of Wagalla in northern Kenya, August 19, 2022. Beasley is warning that without billions of dollars more to feed millions of hungry people, the world will see mass migration, destabilised countries, and starving children and adults in the next 12 to 18 months. (AP Photo/Brian Inganga, File)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Without billions of dollars more to feed millions of hungry people, the world will see mass migration, destabilised countries, and starving children and adults in the next 12 to 18 months, the head of the Nobel prize-winning United Nations World Food Program warned Friday.

David Beasley praised increased funding from the United States and Germany last year, and urged China, Gulf nations, billionaires and other countries “to step up big time.”

In an interview before he hands the reins of the world's largest humanitarian organisation to US ambassador Cindy McCain next week, the former South Carolina governor said he's “extremely worried” that WFP won't raise about $23 billion it needs this year to help millions of needy people

“Right at this stage, I'll be surprised if we get 40% of it, quite frankly,” he said.

Last year, Beasley raised $14.2 billion for WFP, more than double the $6 billion in 2017, the year he took over as executive director.

That money helped over 128 million people in more than 120 countries and territories.

Beasley said he was able to convince the United States last year to increase its funding from about $3.5 billion to $7.4 billion and Germany to raise its contribution from $350 million a few years ago to $1.7 billion, but he doesn't think they'll do it again this year.

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