Thoughtful Thursday: world hunger and getting our priorities straight

An article in CNN online this week grabbed my attention with the headline “2% of Elon Musk’s wealth could solve world hunger, says director of UN food scarcity organization”.   Just 2% could solve world hunger! And this is a little unfair to Elon Musk.  The headline could just as easily have read, “1% of Elon Musk’s wealth and 1% of Jeff Bezos’ wealth could solve world hunger”.  Think about it.  And, of course, there are other vast quantities of wealth floating around out there as well.  Not to mention our governments, which spend billions and billions of dollars on arms deals that support conflicts which cause millions of people to become victims of a hunger crisis … think Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, and now Afghanistan.  War and, increasingly, man-made climate change are causing millions more to fall into the despair of hunger … and death.

From the CNN article (the bolding of that one sentence is my doing):

A small group of ultra-wealthy individuals could help solve world hunger with just a fraction of their net worth, says the director of the United Nations’ World Food Programme.

Billionaires need to “step up now, on a one-time basis”, said David Beasley in an interview on CNN’s Connect the World with Becky Anderson that aired Tuesday — citing specifically the world’s two richest men, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk.

“$6 billion to help 42 million people that are literally going to die if we don’t reach them. It’s not complicated,” he added.

Elon Musk is now worth more than ExxonMobil.

Tesla chief executive Musk has a net worth of nearly $289 billion, according to Bloomberg, meaning that Beasley is asking for a donation of just 2% of his fortune.  The net worth of US billionaires has almost doubled since the pandemic began, standing at $5.04 trillion in October, according to progressive groups Institute for Policy Studies and Americans for Tax Fairness.

A “perfect storm” of several crises, such as climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic, mean many nations are “knocking on famine’s door,” Beasley said.

Half of the population of Afghanistan — 22.8 million people — face an acute hunger crisis, according to a WFP report released Monday. Rampant unemployment and a liquidity crisis means the country is teetering on the edge of a humanitarian crisis and 3.2 million children under the age of five are at risk, the report concluded.

If that isn’t food for thought I don’t know what is.  Where should our priorities lie?

WorldHunger

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28 Responses to Thoughtful Thursday: world hunger and getting our priorities straight

  1. Pingback: Thoughtful Thursday: world hunger and getting our priorities straight – Bots rule

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  3. Pingback: Thoughtful Thursday: world hunger and getting our priorities straight – Inner musings

  4. Very informative post😊🙏

  5. We all know Elon Musk’s money cant solve world hunger. Like the saying goes. Give a man a fish he can eat for the day. Teach him how to fish and he can eat forever.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Hmm. Perhaps $6B won’t solve world hunger, but neither will fishing, or gathering any other food sources in nature. What about the millions upon millions of disposed victims of regional conflicts, many living in refugee camps? What about all the people who used to be able to grow their own food but due to climate change are no longer able to? Too hot, too dry to grow food. Or too wet or flooded out. Many challenges, not of the making of those who are going hungry.

  6. A timely post at least here in the U.S,. as the White House and (only Dems in) Congress continue to hammer out how much to pay for the two infrastructure bills currently on the table. There is division how much to levy on millionaires, billionaires, and corporations. By the time these things are sorted out, the rich never quite pay as much as they should. I guess I’m jaded. – Marty

    • Jane Fritz says:

      It’s really astounding how protected the super rich remain, even with the Dems in and the needs of the many so great. It’s hard to fathom, and frightening to think that it’s really all about helping the rich and powerful stay powerful while they’re getting even richer … just like the most corrupt of countries we rage against. Hmm, I guess I’m jaded, too, Marty!

  7. Belladonna says:

    If only he would hit the red button!

  8. Inkplume says:

    There is no easy answer to this crisis. Few of us are billionaires, but many, many people could probably afford to donate anywhere between $25 and $100. What if it were possible to mobilize them? A girl can dream about the power of collectivity.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Oh, Linda, you are so right. Let’s hope that we see signs of collectivity for the common good wrt to both alleviating world hunger and also seriously addressing climate change.

  9. Wow, that’s incredible. Something’s got to change…

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Oh, Debra, don’t we wish. Between the impending disaster of climate change, growing inequality within the wealthy countries, and the retrenchment of global cooperation, it’s hard to know how change is going to happen. It sure is needed.

  10. It is sad and distressing that so few people control so much of the world’s wealth.

  11. The Widow Badass says:

    Throwing money at the problem is one thing, but how to make sure the money actually goes to addressing and resolving the problem, and doesn’t line others’ pockets so that the people in need are indeed helped. Our society glories wealth and power far over good deeds and helping our fellow humans. If we could value “social capital” over actual capital, there might be a chance that billionaires would be inspired to help, and that the money/goods would actually end up in the hands of those that need it most, instead of being siphoned off along the way. I don’t have the answers to this extremely complicated issue. I hope that people smarter than me have them, though.

    Deb

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Boy, you’ve said it all, Deb. It seems like the world’s leaders at this moment in time don’t see this as their priority, even insofar as seeking the smart answers. They’re struggling enough to accept that they can’t ignore climate change. 😥

  12. BernieLynne says:

    While you and I can afford to support our community fridges we can’t feed nations. We all need to do our share and 10 mins in space is like a thrill ride – no lasting impact. But I am sure they would argue they earned that money and shouldn’t have to give it away to people “who didn’t earn it”. Sad commentary of the times for sure.

  13. Linda Sprague says:

    So very sad isn’t it? The people of Afghanistan are in such a terrible place and yet, I hesitate to support aid agencies because I’m sure the money and food would be diverted to the Taliban in control. How do you handle this Jane or anyone?

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Boy, that’s a tough question wrt Afghanistan at this early stage with the Taliban, Linda. So very sad indeed. Maybe I’ll ask a friend of mine who works with the Aga Khan Foundation.

      • Jane Fritz says:

        Linda, I’ve had a reply back and it turns out that because the Taliban is under international sanctions, they can’t touch a penny of any aid money. So right now any donation to any aid agency is going directly to helping the Afghans. Let’s hope they can make a difference.

  14. We need laws to make sure wealthy folks pay their fair share.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      No kidding. But you know, with that much wealth, more than really is comprehendable or necessary, you’d kind of think they’d want to contribute. I realize that’s the idealist in me!

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