David Beasley explained the dire situation on the ground in Ukraine as he struggles to balance different humanitarian crises across the world due to a lack of resources. Mr Beasley bluntly pointed out he is in the terrible position of choosing which children get food and which could potentially die as he is stretched thin. But when asked by Channel 4 presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy about how much he needed, Mr Beasley gave a surprising amount for how much he actually required when compared to what the entire world’s wealth is right now.
Speaking to Channel 4 News, Mr Beasley reflected on the World Food Program’s work and what the United Nations needed to help Ukrainians.
He said: “We should not be here, we’re in 80 something countries now, I’m billions of dollars short of what I need around the world, Yemen, Syria, Ethiopia, Afghanistan.
“I’m cutting ration 50 percent in places of grave need now …
“Before Ukraine, I was already cutting food rations 50 percent to millions of people in starving countries.
“Yemen for example, because we don’t have the resources, we had a perfect storm before the Ukrainian war, Covid, conflict, climate, economic ripple effect the number of people that went from the brink of starvation went from 135 to 276 million . “
Mr Beasley was even more concerned with the situation in Ukraine due to its large food exports across the world and how it has now “shut down”.
He continued: “For many countries around the world, fuel costs are spiking, food costs are spiking, shipping costs are spiking, our operations alone are taking a $ 750billion hit because of disruption of supply.”
Mr Guru-Murthy then asked how much the humanitarian boss needed.
He replied: “I need $ 600 million just in Ukraine for three months and I’m a billion dollars short, so where is it going to come from?
“Do I got to take it from Afghan children to feed the children in Yemen?
“I mean, you’re asking me to choose which children live and which children die.”
Mr Beasley also pointed out the world’s total wealth is estimated to be around $ 500trillion.
Humanitarian corridors have been set up across Ukraine to allow aid to reach trapped civilians and also to escort them out.
The UK announced it would be increasing its aid and supply of non-lethal equipment to Ukraine.
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Defense Secretary Ben Wallace also announced new anti-air missiles would be sent to the country alongside further anti-tank weaponry.
Maximo Torero, the chief economist at the Food and Agriculture Organization, warned of a food crisis developing across the world as the conflict in Ukraine continues.
He told the Guardian: “We were already having problems with food prices.
“What countries are doing now is exacerbating that, and the war is putting us in a situation where we could easily fall into a food crisis …
“My greatest fear is that the conflict continues – then we will have a situation of significant levels of food price rises, in poor countries that were already in an extremely weak financial situation owing to Covid-19.
“The number of chronically hungry people will grow significantly, if that is the case.”