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UN Calls Elon Musk’s Bluff on World Hunger

The following article, UN Calls Elon Musk’s Bluff on World Hunger, was first published on Flag And Cross.

It’s been a strange week for Elon Musk, and the United Nations may have just taken that as a sign to prod the eccentric entrepreneur a little more.

Musk is on the hook for an enormous tax bill, whose deadline is still looming.  This has caused the billionaire owner of Tesla and SpaceX to begin selling off massive quantities of stock, and his Twitter antics have turned tawdry in the meantime.  CNBC Anchors speculated that Musks’s behavior, which included a crass insult directed at Senator Bernie Sanders, may have stemmed from the affect that this tax burden had on his mood.

Now, just days after Musk attempted to suggest that no one could solve world hunger by daring the UN to show him how it could be done, the international organization has delivered…and the world is currently awaiting his response.

The proposal comes three weeks after David Beasley, executive director of the UN’s World Food Programme, or WFP, told CNN that roughly 2% of Musk’s $279 billion net worth could help end hunger. He later specified in a tweet that a $6.6 billion donation would “avert famine” next year.

After seeing the interview, Musk said on Twitter that he would immediately sell shares of the electric car company, which is worth more than $1 trillion, if the UN could explain how the money would “solve” hunger.

“If WFP can describe on this Twitter thread exactly how $6 billion will solve world hunger, I will sell Tesla stock right now and do it,” tweeted Musk, who Bloomberg ranks as the richest person in the world.

So, where exactly would the money go?

About $3.5 billion of a roughly $6 billion donation would go toward buying food for people mostly in Africa and the Middle East, including Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo,  Sudan, South Sudan and Yemen, according to the UN. The money would also fund the distribution of food in those and other countries by air, river or truck.

All told, the UN said its proposed plan would feed 42 million starving people. The WFP proposal also calls for:

  • Spending $700 million on creating food voucher programs in 43 countries where such assistance doesn’t currently exist, including “office and satellite-office facilities and their security, and the monitoring of distributions and results, ensuring the assistance reaches the most vulnerable.”

  • Spending $2 billion on cash and food vouchers in countries where those programs already exist.

  • Spending $400 million on beefing up global supply-chain logistics and creating a monitoring system to track worldwide hunger.

As of this writing, there has been no official response from Elon Musk.

 

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