Recently the multi-billionaire CEO of electric car maker Tesla, Elon Musk, challenged the United Nations (UN) to give him a plan to solve world hunger. Musk was responding to a statement from the UN World Food Programme in which they said they needed $6 billion to do it, and if they could he would sell his shares and pay for it. Well, the UN has called Elon Musk’s bluff and today delivered their plan to solve world hunger.
David Beasley, the UN food program director and former Republican governor of South Carolina tweeted a link to a 1,000-word “executive summary.” It maps out how the UN would deploy $6.6 billion worth of meals and vouchers to feed more than 40 million people across 43 countries that are “on the brink of famine” — thereby averting what the WFP is calling a looming “catastrophe.”
The plan proposes dedicating $3.5 billion to buy and deliver food directly, $2 billion “for cash and food vouchers (including transaction fees) in places where markets can function,” and spending another $700 million to manage new food programs that are “adapted to the in-country” conditions and ensure “the assistance reaches the most vulnerable.”
Another $400 million would be used for “operations management, administration and accountability” and supply chain coordination.
Beasley wrote “The world is on fire, I’ve been warning about the perfect storm brewing due to Covid, conflict, climate shocks & now, rising supply chain costs. IT IS HERE.”
Beasley has on behalf of the UN called Elon Musk’s bluff, tweeting “This hunger crisis is urgent, unprecedented, AND avoidable.” In calling Elon Musk’s bluff, Beasley wrote “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.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, Musk had not responded despite having cashed in a significant number of his shares in Tesla this week.
Musk who is the world’s richest man with a net worth of around $280 billion, has come under some criticism for his views and for not always following through. He has however set up the Musk Foundation, which says it gives to efforts related to renewable energy expansion, human space exploration and safe uses of artificial intelligence. He’s also signed The Giving Pledge, a promise to donate at least half of his wealth to charitable efforts during his lifetime, something Jeff Bezos the billionaire founder of Amazon has not done.
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