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Elon Musk does not exactly believe that just 2% of his wealth can eradicate world hunger, and has asked the UN for a public breakdown.
Elon Musk, the current richest man in the world, recently challenged the United Nations about world hunger. The Tesla CEO responded to comments by David Beasley, director of the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP), that just 2% (about $6 billion) of Musk’s wealth could feed 42 million people. Musk took to Twitter, asking the World Food program to back up its claim with empirical facts. Furthermore, the Tesla CEO demonstrated a willingness to provide the requisite funds if the UN’s food-assistance branch satisfactorily defended the claim. The statement read:
“If the WFP can describe on this Twitter thread exactly how $6B will solve world hunger, I will sell Tesla stock right now and do it.”
Musk further went on to say the WFP’s process must be transparent and open-source so the public can keep track of funds spent.
Musk’s ascension to the summit of the ‘world’s richest’ came about after Tesla hit a valuation of over $1 trillion last week. The share prices of the electric car company spiked, in part after Hertz ordered 100,000 models valued at $4.2 billion. As it stands, Musk himself has a current net worth of about $311 billion. Plus, his wealth increased by $9.3 billion alone on October 29th.
Elon Musk & David Beasley Trade Tweets Over World Hunger Issue
Beasley is also asking other ultra-wealthy billionaires, like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, to “step up now, on a one-time basis.” The ‘clarion call’ was made in an interview with CNN, following an earlier tweet in October. Furthermore, after Musk’s response, Beasley took to the same Twitter thread to provide further clarifications to avert any potential misunderstanding. He explained that his organization did not definitively state that the fixed sum of $6 billion would eradicate world hunger. Instead, WFP suggested a one-time donation that would help feed tens of millions (42 million people). According to Beasley, this would preempt a catastrophic hunger crisis and save millions of lives. He then further provided cursory logistics on how the WFP would potentially disburse funds – including add-ons. The rest of Beasley’s statement read:
“The $8.4B you refer to covers what we needed to reach 115 million people in 2020 with food assistance. We need $6B plus NOW on top of our existing funding requirements due to the perfect storm from the compounding impact of Covid, conflict, and climate shocks.”
Beasley doubled down on his commitment to addressing global starvation by offering to meet Musk in person immediately. He said this would aid both parties further by hashing out the details. Meanwhile, in response, Musk did not seem eager to play ball with the WFP at the moment. Instead, the Tesla CEO suggested the WFP make its current and proposed spending available to public scrutiny – as earlier suggested. Furthermore, Musk seemed to throw a curveball by posting an article questioning the sexual conduct of some UN officials.