The World Food Programme executive director David Beasley accepted the Nobel Peace Prize, warning that the combination of conflict, climate crisis and COVID-19 could push 270 million people to the brink of starvation.
In his acceptance speech, Beasley said:
“...Because of so many wars, climate change, the widespread use of hunger as a political and military weapon, and a global health pandemic that makes all of that exponentially worse, 270 million people are marching toward starvation. Failure to address their needs will cause a hunger pandemic which will dwarf the impact of COVID.”
"...What tears me up inside is this. This coming year, millions and millions and millions of my equals, my neighbors, your neighbors, are marching to the brink of starvation...today those 200 million of our neighbors are on the brink of starvation. That’s more than the entire population of Western Europe. On the other hand, there is $400 trillion of wealth in our world today. Even at the height of the COVID pandemic, in just 90 days, an additional $2.7 trillion of wealth was created. And we only need $5 billion to save 30 million lives from famine. What am I missing here?"
"...I don’t go to bed at night thinking about the children we saved; I go to bed weeping over the children we could not save. And when we don’t have enough money nor the access we need, we have to decide which children eat and which children do not eat, which children live, which children die. How would you like that job? Please, don’t ask us to choose who lives and who dies."