The richest man on the planet who is the owner of Tesla and CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk will donate 2% of his net worth i.e. $6 billion for solving global hunger. But Musk’s promise wasn’t a spontaneous act of philanthropy; it was a Gordian knot of a challenge levied at the WFP (World Food Programme)
In an interview with CNN, the director of the UN’s World Food Program, David Beasley, referring the two richest men- Musk and Bezos, said that it was time for the ultra-wealthy to “step up now, on a one-time basis” to “help 42 million people that are going to die if we don’t reach them.”
In response to the CNN story’s tweet, Musk pledged that he is willing to donate $6 billion to WFP by selling Tesla’s stock right away if they are willing to describe how the donation would solve world hunger. On 1st November, Sunday Elon Musk tweeted
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.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 31, 2021
Elon Musk also made a follow-up tweet in which he demanded, “the UN’s plan must include open source accounting, so the public sees precisely how the money is spent.”
Beasley’s explanation to CNN’s story
David Beasley responded to the tweet by stating the CNN’s headline was inaccurate. He added that $6 billion will not solve world hunger and it was just on a one-time basis. He also mentioned that WPF wanted this donation of $6 billion for feeding the 42 million people who are going to die if not reached this year.
The WFP’s director also stated that this is not the last time they are asking for a donation. He said the donation will only solve a one-time issue if global hunger and poverty are not resolved due to systemic issues. Beasley said that this one-time donation will prevent global political instability, mass migration and save 42 million people on the brink of starvation.
Follow-up Tweets of Musk and Beasley
Within a few hours of Musk’s tweet, Beasley replied offering that he could be on the next flight to Musk for a conversation. In his tweet, Beasley said that it would not be complicated and Musk could throw him out if he doesn’t like what he hears.
Musk retweeted demanding WFP to publish current and proposed spending of the organization in detail for public transparency, exclaiming, “Sunlight is a wonderful thing.”
Allegations on WFP (World Food Program)
Musk made a tweet alleging WFP in which he shared a link to the 2015 Express report. The report alleged the UN peacekeepers that in 2014 they sexually abused children in the Central African Republic. Musk commented to the tweet asking, “What happened here?”
In addition to this, WFP has also been questioned on its efficiency in 2018 by the nonprofit Center for Global Development (CGD). WFP was ranked last for aid effectiveness among 40 aid agencies by CGD in 2018. CGD said that WFP’s spending is “humanitarian” and not “developmental” i.e. it focuses on solving present issues and not the root cause of it. For this reason, CGD removed WFP from this year’s ranking.
Elon Musk’s Recent Philanthropy
Elon Musk who owns $300 billion of net worth pledges to sell shares of Tesla worth $6 billion for resolving global hunger. If Musk exercises his pledge it would become the largest charitable contribution made by him. At the beginning of 2021, Elon Musk agreed to give a total of $150 million for the carbon removal contest which included $100 million prize money.
Elon Musk who saw an increase of $140 billion in his net worth this year due to a high increase in the value of his electric automaker is often criticized for not sharing his income for people’s welfare. However, Musk has always made it clear that while donating the money he likes to remain anonymous. This year earlier, Musk also asked tweeter users for their feedback on the ways he can donate.