Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk (Patrick Pleul via Reuters / file)
Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, challenged a United Nations official’s claim that only a small percentage of his wealth could help solve world hunger.
Musk was responding to comments from David Beasley, director of the UN World Food Program, who repeated a call this month asking billionaires like Musk to “step up now, for the only time.”
Beasley specifically called for action on Musk and Amazon co-founder Jeff Bezos, the two men who top the Billionaires Index of Bloomberg.
Just 6 billion could prevent 42 million people from dying, Beasley said.
If the World Food Program, using transparent and open accounting, “can describe in this Twitter thread exactly how $ 6 billion will solve world hunger, I will sell Tesla stock right now and do it,” Musk wrote in a post from Twitter
“But it must be open source accounting, so that the public can see precisely how the money is being spent,” he added.
Beasley responded to Musk’s post on Twitter, saying he could assure the billionaire that the WFP had the systems in place for transparency and open source accounting.
“Your team can review and work with us to be absolutely sure of it,” he said.
“USD 6 billion will not solve world hunger, but it WILL PREVENT geopolitical instability, mass migration and save 42 million people from the brink of starvation. An unprecedented crisis and a perfect storm due to Covid / conflict / climate crisis, ”he added.
“The $ 8.4 billion you refer to covers what we needed to reach 115 million people by 2020 with food assistance. We need an additional USD 6 billion NOW in addition to our existing funding requirements due to the perfect storm of the aggravated impact of Covid, conflict and climate shocks, ”he added.
In response, Musk shared a note from the British newspaper Express on the case of nine-year-old boys allegedly forced to give oral sex to UN officials to get food and asked: “What happened here?”
$ 6 billion would be just a fraction of Musk’s net worth and less of the $ 9.3 billion his wealth increased on October 29 alone.
Musk is the CEO of the electric vehicle company, which last week joined the handful of companies valued at more than $ 1 trillion.
The $ 6 billion amount would be just a small fraction of Musk’s current net worth of $ 311 billion, and less than the $ 9.3 billion his wealth increased on October 29 alone, according to the Wealth Index of Bloomberg.
Tesla makes up the vast majority of Musk’s net worth. It rarely sells shares of the electric vehicle maker, whose shares hit a record $ 1,114 on Friday.
His fortune has also increased thanks to his stake in SpaceX, a private space exploration company that was valued at around $ 100 billion last month.
Musk, who speaks frequently on social media, has also criticized attempts to tax the US billionaires.
He said on Twitter that a tax on the wealth of billionaires would only make a “small dent” in the payment of the national debt, arguing that the focus should be on public spending. Musk also said that a multi-million dollar tax would be just the beginning of taxing the simply rich.
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