Following a UN official’s remark that a small percentage of a fortune like Elon Musk’s $300 billion could help solve world hunger, the Tesla CEO recently challenged the UN to show him how $6 billion of his wealth could address world hunger. On Monday, the UN responded with a plan.
The United Nations World Food Program director, David Beasley, told CNN that it was time for the ultra-rich to “step up now, on a one-time basis.”
“Six billion dollars to help 42 million people that are literally going to die if we don’t reach them. It’s not complicated,” he said, explicitly mentioning Musk and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the two richest men in the world.
In response, Musk tweeted, “If WFP can describe on this Twitter thread exactly how $6B will solve world hunger, I will sell Tesla stock right now,” he said about Beasley’s assertion. In a follow-up tweet, Musk also added that the UN’s plan must include “open source accounting, so the public sees precisely how the money is spent.”
The World Food Program, the UN’s food-assistance branch, outlined how $6.6 billion in funding could prevent 42 million people from going hungry in 43 countries by 2022. Furthermore, Beasley stated that while $6 billion will not end world hunger, it will “prevent global political instability, mass migration, and save 42 million people on the verge of starvation.”
According to the WFP website, nearly $3.5 billion will be spent on procuring and delivering meals. The World Food Program will use a variety of transportation modes to ensure “last mile” delivery, including security escort services in areas of conflict. Now next two billion dollars will be used for food and cash vouchers in areas where markets are opening.
According to the WFP, this will allow people to buy food of their preference and help the local economies. In addition, another $700 million will be set aside for country-level infrastructure to monitor aid distribution and payments to program auditors.
Beasley also named five countries that account for nearly half of the people the WFP plans to help in this plan, claiming that the situation in these countries is worse than it has ever been. He also stated that the WFP values openness and transparency and has made its “financial statements, operational plans, audits, and annual reports” public. He also shared links to WFP reports on operations and expenses.
Musk had asked for transparency in the WFP’s plan to spend the UN’s funds. So let’s see how Musk follows through on his promises.