Save the world, one bite at a time

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The director of the United Nations World Food Program tabled a plan to spend $ 6.6 billion to fight world hunger – a direct response to a back and forth with Tesla CEO Elon Musk who claimed he was selling Tesla stock to fund a plan if the WFP could describe “how exactly” it would work.

David Beasley, the director of the United Nations Food Program and former Republican Governor of South Carolina, tweeted a link on Monday to a 1,000 word “summary”. It shows how the United Nations would use $ 6.6 billion worth of meals and vouchers to feed more than 40 million people in 43 countries “on the verge of famine” – including one from the WFP as a averting the threat of a “catastrophe”.

In the document released by Beasley, the WFP proposes allocating $ 3.5 billion for the direct purchase and delivery of groceries, and $ 2 billion for “cash and grocery vouchers (including transaction fees) in locations where the markets can work, “and spend an additional $ 700 million on managing new food programs that are” adapted to the needs of the country “and ensure that” aid reaches the most vulnerable. “

Another $ 400 million would be used for “operational management, administration and accountability” and supply chain coordination.

“The world is on fire,” Beasley wrote. “I warned of the perfect storm brewing due to Covid, conflict, climate shocks and now soaring supply chain costs. IT IS HERE.”

“This hunger crisis is urgent, unprecedented and preventable,” wrote Beasley in a separate tweet, marks Musk, the richest person in the world with a net worth of approximately $ 288 billion. “You asked for a clear plan and open books. Here it is! We are ready to speak to you – and anyone else – who are serious about saving lives. “

Musk hadn’t responded by Wednesday afternoon.

The back and forth between Musk and Beasley began last month with a CNN interview in which Beasley urged billionaires to rise “now on a one-off basis” to fight world hunger, citing the world’s two richest men: Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.

Beasley said providing $ 6 billion, or 2% of Musk’s net worth, could help solve world hunger.

Musk replied on Twitter, writing, “If WFP can detail on this Twitter thread how $ 6 billion will solve world hunger, I’ll sell Tesla stock now and do it.”

“But it has to be open source bookkeeping so the public can see exactly how the money is being spent.” Musk added.

Beasley previously replied to Musk’s tweets, reassuring him that there are transparency and open source accounting systems in place.

“In fact, it’s a game changer for him to be part of this conversation because, in simple terms, we can answer his questions, we can come up with a clear plan,” Beasley told CNN earlier this month in a follow-up interview. “We are happy to answer everything he asks. I look forward to this conversation with him, because it is about life.”

Even before the Covid 19 pandemic, the world’s hunger crisis was exacerbated by climate change and conflict. However, the pandemic exacerbated existing problems, leaving “42 million people literally knocking on the door of famine,” Beasley said. “That is a worst-case scenario.”

It’s not clear whether Musk or Bezos saw the plan and will ultimately choose to lend their support. Musk’s company spokesmen did not respond to requests for comment. A Bezos representative, Angela Landers, declined to comment on the WFP’s proposal, but referred to other philanthropic donations Bezos made to fight hunger.

Musk previously made bold promises and donated resources to charity on Twitter. For example, in 2018 he pledged to “fund the water treatment in every house in Flint that has water pollution above FDA levels.” According to an article by a local news agency in August, Musk donated about half a million dollars to install water filters in the city’s schools.

Musk has made major donations for certain projects. That year he pledged to donate $ 30 million to Brownsville, Texas, the city closest to a giant missile center owned by his SpaceX company, and local schools.

He also founded the Musk Foundation, which advocates efforts related to expanding renewable energy, exploring human space, and using artificial intelligence safely. He also signed The Giving Pledge, a pledge to donate at least half of his fortune to charity during his lifetime, which Bezos did not.

The CNN Wire
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