Elon Musk issued a challenge to the United Nations over the weekend. It wasn’t about his companies or his current favorite cryptocurrency, the Dogecoin, but rather something far more serious: world hunger. In response to United Nations World Food Program (WFP) head David Beasley, who told CNN that a one-time donation of 2% of Musk’s or billionaires’ fortune will end world hunger, Musk kind of agreed to contribute his money, but only if the UN devises the right strategy.
“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,” Musk tweeted in a response to a tweet by Dr Eli David, who is a co-founder of a company called Deep Instinct. David tweeted out a screenshot of the CNN article mentioning Beasley, along with some snark on WFP’s work towards eradicating global hunger. Musk joined him to send some provocative tweets, however, with conviction, later adding: “But it must be open-source accounting, so the public sees precisely how the money is spent.”
Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, is worth more than $300 billion. According to Beasley, 2% of Musk’s fortune – which should be roughly $6 billion – will “assist 42 million people who are literally going to die if we don’t reach them.” It’s not difficult.” However, in the same Twitter discussion, Beasley clarified an article that he believed had been misunderstood.
Beasley wrote: “We’ve never said $6B [billion] would solve world hunger. This is a one-time donation to save 42 million lives during this unprecedented hunger crisis. 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.”
For the time being, the challenge appears to be open from both ends. While Musk wants WFP to expose its ledger to the public, WFP’s director wants Musk to talk about how billionaires can solve world hunger.