Billionaires' wealth could stop the East Africa food crisis every 24 hours

"I have always envisioned a world where we put people and planet before profits," says Kenyan climate activist Elizabeth Wathuti.

While billionaires are waking up to another day of astronomical wealth rises, a devastating food crisis is unfolding in East Africa.

We don’t all have the same 24 hours. Here’s why it’s time to raise the alarm...

We need to talk about the hunger crisis in East Africa. People are on the verge of famine

❌ About $3bn is needed to stop the crisis in East Africa.

💸 About $3bn is how much billionaires get richer by in A SINGLE DAY.


When there’s a humanitarian emergency, the UN looks at the needs and sets out a response plan and what funding is needed, globally, to make that response possible. This should mean that the response from around the world is coordinated and adequate, giving all of us a safety net in a world of droughts, hurricanes and conflict.

For East Africa, the response is underfunded by $3bn. This means that world leaders have not been prepared to fund an adequate response.

Many communities in Somalia, South Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia are paying the price.

We are told there isn’t enough money. But the collective wealth of the world’s billionaires grows by $3bn in less than a day.


An image of an alarm clock with the words 'we don't all have the same 24 hours' by it.

Here’s why it’s time to raise the alarm...

Billionaires getting richer each day by the amount needed to stop the crisis in East Africa sums up what’s wrong with the priorities of the leaders who are meant to serve us.

Oxfam has been working with people around the world to fight poverty for 80 years and campaigning specifically on inequality for 10. And every year, every crisis, the rich get richer.

  • Now an estimated 28 million people across East Africa face extreme hunger. People are fighting every day for their lives, despite doing little to cause the climate crisis or the failures of the food system that have fuelled this. And they see little reparation for the injustice.
  • There’s no money, apparently. No money to prevent famine. No money to support families through the cost-of-living crisis. No money to pay workers a fair wage.

It's time for a global wealth tax

Since the start of the pandemic, billionaire wealth has skyrocketed. It’s completely unjust that hard times so often bring increased riches to the rich and increased poverty to the rest.

People facing crisis on crisis deserve justice, in the form of a global wealth tax. 

Just take a look at what the UK alone could do…

  • A wealth tax for the UK’s 0.01% richest would raise nearly £23 BILLION a year.

More than enough for a 10% public sector worker pay rise. More than enough to act on the East Africa crisis. Enough to make better choices for people everywhere.

Photo: Oxfam

A black and white picture of Gabriela Bucher with her quote across it: wealth taxes are a powerful, feminist and anti-racist policy solution we must implement immediately to help fight back against rising inequality.

Standing up for justice in East Africa means standing up for us all

In a world of eye watering wealth, no one should be facing famine. Standing up for justice in East Africa means standing up for us all. Because the only winners here are the super-rich. And some of the richest people can even see that.

It’s time for us to act in unity. We may not all have the same 24 hours. But together we can make our 24 hours count.

Here's what you can do today

  1. Raise the alarm on the East Africa crisis. It’s a catastrophe and not enough people know about it.
  2. Stand up for people, not profit. Retweet this message to the Prime Minister to show your support for a wealth tax.
  3. Finally, call on the Prime Minister to act on the world’s humanitarian crises.