Elon Musk has dared to reveal how his wealth could solve world hunger and United Nations’ head laid out a detailed plan.
Musk, the Tesla CEO said on his Twitter account that if the World Food Programme can describe how $6.6 billion would solve world hunger, he would sell Tesla stock to donate to the cause.
David Beasly, the director of the United Nations’ World Food Programme is still pleading with the world’s richest individuals to help in the fight against the world hunger crisis.
Beasley said in his interview in late October that a mere 2 percent of Musk’s total wealth, about $6.6 billion was needed to prevent starvation.
He says: “Six billion to help 42 million people who are literally going to die if we don’t reach them. It’s not complicated.”
Posting on Twitter Musk responded to the request, writing: “If WFP can describe on this Twitter thread exactly how $6B will solve world hunger, I will sell Tesla stock right now and do it.”
“But it must be open source accounting, so the public sees precisely how the money is spent,” he added.
Beasley replied to Musk’s tweets, assuring him that systems are in place for transparency and open source accounting.
The UN’s food-assistance branch has now laid out how $6.6 billion in investments could prevent 42 million people across 43 countries from starving.
Beasley, called out Musk, the world’s richest person in a tweet announcing the proposal.
Beasley said: “This hunger crisis is urgent, unprecedented, AND avoidable. @elonmusk, you asked for a clear plan & open books. Here it is! We’re ready to talk with you – and anyone else – who is serious about saving lives.”
In the breakdown entitled “A One-Time Appeal to Billionaires,” the WFP said that about $3.5 billion would be used for food and delivery, with another $2 billion going toward cash and food vouchers.
Musk’s challenge was a response to a CNN interview with Beasley during which he called on billionaires like Musk and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to chip in $6 billion, a small amount in proportion to their vast fortunes, to save millions of people at risk of starvation.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the world’s hunger crisis was already exacerbated by climate change and conflict. The pandemic compounded the existing issues though, leaving “42 million people that are literally knocking on famine’s door. This is a worst-case scenario,” Beasley said.
The 42 million is the estimated number of people at the IPC level 4 or 5. IPC is short for Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, which is put together by various UN agencies, research centers, and relief charities.
The system is considered the global standard to measure acute food insecurity. Level 4 means food “emergency” – one step before Level 5, which is “famine.”
The hardest-hit Level 4 countries are Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen, and Ethiopia. The countries in which Level 5 famine can be found are Ethiopia, South Sudan, Yemen, and Madagascar. Collectively, 584,000 people in those four countries are in famine conditions.
Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, had a net worth of $335 billion, making him the richest man in the world, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire index.
Last week, Tesla became the sixth company in US history to reach a $1 trillion market cap, the second-fastest company to achieve the milestone after Facebook.