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Elon Musk Prepared to End World Hunger with $6 Billion — With Conditions

Elon Musk
The world’s richest man, Elon Musk, hinted he might offer $6 billion, under conditions, to end world hunger. Credit: Daniel Oberhaus / Wikimedia Commons

The multi-billionaire owner of Tesla, Elon Musk, agreed on Sunday to make a contribution of around $6 billion to end world hunger, but on one important condition. The move came after WFP director David Beasley told CNN that a one-time payment of 2% wealth of Musk, or other billionaires, can solve global hunger.

On Sunday, the world’s richest man, with a net worth of $311 billion, briefly turned his attention back to Earth after his recent space exploits. In a tweet, he wrote that if the WFP can describe exactly how $6 billion would solve world hunger, he will sell Tesla stock immediately and donate it.

In a following tweet, though, Musk stipulated that the details must be “open source accounting, so the public sees precisely how the money is spent.”

Musk’s pledge was in response to a tweet that flagged a CNN headline citing David Beasley, the director of the WFP, who reportedly claimed that 2% of Elon Musk’s wealth could solve world hunger.

Dr. Eli David, the user who tweeted the CNN story, was highly skeptical of Beasley’s claim. He noted that the WFP raised $8.4 billion in 2020 to feed those in need. So, if Beasley’s argument were true, wouldn’t that be enough to solve world hunger?

“Musk will not end world hunger with $6 billion”

WFP director Beasley released a statement in order to clear up any confusion about his statement. Beasley first stated that CNN’s headline was “not accurate” and agreed that $6 billion alone will not “solve world hunger.”

Rather, Beasley argues that $6 billion would be enough to feed “42 million people that are literally going to die if we don’t reach them” this year. “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,” he explained.

Beasley himself stated as much in the original interview with CNN, in which he argued that the money from Musk would be needed on a “one-time basis.”

He continued by arguing that such massive donations would always be necessary unless systemic issues that fuel poverty and hunger around the world were resolved.

According to the WFP, the number of people on the “brink of starvation” doubled during the pandemic. Meanwhile, billionaires saw their wealth grow during the same period.

In his Twitter exchange with Musk, Beasley hit back: “Let’s talk: It isn’t as complicated as Falcon Heavy, but too much at stake to not at least have a conversation. I can be on the next flight to you. Throw me out if you don’t like what you hear!”

Musk asks where WFP money goes

Musk replied to the WFP director defiantly, writing: “Please publish your current & proposed spending in detail so people can see exactly where money goes.” He then posted a link to an article that discussed alleged sexual abuse by those working for the UN.

The WFP, which does release its spending annually, has faced criticism many times in the past. The Center for Global Development, a non-profit, placed the WFP last out of 40 organizations in terms of “aid effectiveness” in 2018.

The Twitter exchange between Musk and Beasley didn’t come up with any answers to ending systemic world hunger.

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