- David Beasley, director of the UN's World Food Programme, said billionaires need to step up and help.
- Beasley said $6 billion (R92 billion) would help 42 million who are "literally going to die if we don't reach them."
- World richest man Elon Musk says he would sell Tesla stock if the UN can prove how the money will solve the crisis.
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Billionaire Elon Musk said he would sell Tesla stock and donate the proceeds if the United Nations could prove that just a tiny percentage of his wealth could solve the world's hunger crisis.
Musk was responding to comments by David Beasley, director of the UN's World Food Programme, who told CNN's Connect the World last week that a $6 billion (R92 billion) donation from billionaires like Musk and Bezos could help 42 million people who are "literally going to die if we don't reach them."
Musk is currently the world's richest man and the first person ever to be worth north of $300 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The Tesla CEO currently has a net worth of $311 billion (R4.7 trillion), so $6 billion would be 2% of his wealth, and such a donation would still leave him besting the second richest man, Jeff Bezos, by at least $100 billion (R1.5 trillion).
But Musk is challenging the claim that the amount will solve the current hunger crisis, saying on Twitter that if the World Food Programme can prove that, he will "sell Tesla stock right now and do it." He also demanded accountability about how the money would be spent.
Beasley responded to Musk by tweeting: "I can assure you that we have the systems in place for transparency and open source accounting. Your team can review and work with us to be totally confident of such."
He also clarified that the UN World Food Programme has never said $6 billion would solve world hunger. "This is a one-time donation to save 42 million lives during this unprecedented hunger crisis," he tweeted.
World Food Programme's Beasley has been repeating his call to billionaires, asking them to step up to the task of solving world hunger.
"It's not complicated. I'm not asking them to do this every day, every week, every year," Beasley said during his appearance on CNN.
"The top 400 billionaires in the United States, the net-worth increase was $1.8 trillion in the past year," he continued. "All I'm asking for is .36% of your net-worth increase. I'm for people making money, but God knows I'm all for you helping people who are in great need right now. The world is in trouble."