New York (CNN Business) – The director of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) laid out a plan to allocate US $ 6.6 billion to the fight against hunger in the world, a direct response to an exchange with the CEO of Tesla Elon Musk, who claimed he would sell Tesla shares to fund a plan if the WFP could describe “exactly how” it would work.
David Beasley, Director of the UN Food Program and former Republican Governor of South Carolina, tweeted this monday a link to a 1,000 word “executive summary”. It describes how the UN would deploy US $ 6.6 billion in meals and vouchers to feed more than 40 million people in 43 countries that are “on the brink of famine,” thus avoiding what the WFP calls an impending “catastrophe.” .
In the document published by Beasley, the WFP proposes to allocate US $ 3.5 billion to the purchase and direct delivery of food, US $ 2 billion “for food vouchers and cash (including transaction fees) in places where markets they can work “, and spend another US $ 700 million in the management of new food programs” adapted to the conditions of the country “and that guarantee that” aid reaches the most vulnerable “.
Another US $ 400 million would go towards “operations management, administration and accountability” and supply chain coordination.
“The world is on fire”, wrote Beasley. “I have been warning about the perfect storm brewing due to covid, conflict, weather shocks, and now rising supply chain costs. IT IS ALREADY HERE.”
“This hunger crisis is urgent, unprecedented. And avoidable,” Beasley wrote in another. Tweet, labeling Musk, who is the richest person in the world with a net worth of approximately US$ 288.000 millones. “You asked for a clear plan and open book accounting. Here it is. We are ready to talk to you, and anyone, who is serious about saving lives.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, Musk had not responded.
The exchange of messages between Musk and Beasley began with an interview on CNN last month in which Beasley asked billionaires to “step forward now, in one fell swoop” to help fight world hunger, specifically citing the world’s two richest men: Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.
Beasley said giving $ 6 billion, or 2% of Musk’s net worth, could help solve world hunger.
Musk replied on Twitter, writing: “If the WFP can describe in this Twitter thread exactly how $ 6 billion will solve world hunger, I will sell Tesla shares right now and do it.”
“But it must be open accounting, so that the public can see precisely how the money is being spent,” Musk added.
Beasley previously responded to Musk’s tweets, assuring that open book accounting and transparency systems exist.
“The fact that you enter this conversation is a game changer because we can simply answer your questions and present a clear plan,” Beasley told CNN in a follow-up interview earlier this month. “We will be happy to answer any questions you ask. I am looking forward to having this discussion with him because lives are at stake.”
Before the covid-19 pandemic, the world hunger crisis was already aggravated by climate change and conflict. However, the pandemic compounded existing problems, leaving “42 million people literally on the brink of famine,” Beasley said. “It is the worst possible scenario.”
It is unclear whether Musk or Bezos have seen the plan and will ultimately decide to lend their support. Spokesmen for Musk’s companies did not respond to requests for comment. A Bezos representative, Angela Landers, declined to comment on the WFP proposal, but noted other donations philanthropic that Bezos has done to fight hunger.
Musk has previously made bold pledges on Twitter, committing resources to charitable efforts. In 2018, for example, got engaged to “fund the water repair in any Flint home that has water contamination above FDA-approved levels.” Musk ended up donating about half a million dollars to install water filters in the city’s schools, according to an August article from a local media.
Musk has made more substantial donations to select projects. This year, he promised to donate US$ 30 millones a Brownsville, Texas, the closest city to a huge rocket center run by his company SpaceX, and to local schools.
I think so Musk Foundation, which claims to donate to efforts related to expanding renewable energy, human space exploration, and the safe uses of artificial intelligence. Also, Musk signed “The Giving Pledge“a promise to donate at least half of his wealth to charitable efforts during his lifetime, something Bezos has not done.
– CNN Business’ Walé Azeez, Eoin McSweeney, Adam Pourahmadi and Moira Ritter contributed to this report.
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UN presented Elon Musk with plan to eradicate famine