The United Nations World Food Program’s David Beasley believes that a small group of ultra-rich individuals such as Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk could solve world hunger with just a fraction of their net worth. Thanks to a recent rally in TSLA stock, Musk is the world’s wealthiest person right now, with a net wealth of $311 billion.
During an appearance on CNN’s Connect the World with Becky Anderson, Beasley urged billionaires to “step up now, on a one-time basis.” Even just 2% of Musk’s current net worth, according to Business Insider, can “solve world hunger.” This means approximately $6 billion. “$6 billion to help 42 million people that are literally going to die if we don’t reach them. It’s not complicated,” the UN WFP director explained.
When responding to a tweet that highlighted the UN World Food Program raised $8.4 billion in 2020, Musk stated that if the WFP could explain how $6 billion might end world hunger, he’d be happy to sell TSLA stock right now. This is an important detail because most of Musk’s net worth is linked to his stake in Tesla. This implies that Musk would have to dispose of Tesla shares in order to have $6 billion in cash.
In a follow-up tweet, Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated that the United Nations World Food Program must be open to open-source accounting. The public would be able to track how the $6 billion would be spent and how effectively end world hunger this way.
What’s more fascinating is that the UN WFP director didn’t clarify if the $6 billion he mentioned during his CNN interview could permanently eliminate hunger or if it was simply a stopgap measure. In the big picture, after all, $6 billion appears to be a pittance to address a problem that has been widespread for so long.
On an annual basis, many countries spend far greater sums on items like the military. The United States spent$725 billion on national defense during 2020. Beasley’s $6 billion solution to world hunger would represent just 0.8% of this budget. The United States is investing a total of $13.3 billion to construct USS Ford, its most advanced aircraft carrier yet (UN WFP director). If the UN WFP director’s estimate holds true, solving world hunger would cost about half of one aircraft carrier built by the US military.