The head of the United Nations (UN) World Food Programme (WFP) has presented a detailed plan outlining how Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s $6.6 billion donation could help reduce world hunger.
Musk engaged WFP CEO David Beasley on Twitter late last month after Beasley remarked during a CNN interview that around $6 billion of Musk’s riches, equal to profits he received in a single day, might help end world hunger.
Musk shared an article during the conversation and challenged Beasley to demonstrate how the funds would “address world hunger,” daring him to produce a plan “in detail” and pledging to “sell Tesla stock right now and do it” if he did.
“This hunger crisis is urgent, unprecedented, AND avoidable.@elonmusk, you asked for a clear plan & open books,” Beasley tweeted on Monday. “Here it is! We’re ready to talk with you – and anyone else – who is serious about saving lives. The ask is $6.6B to avert famine in 2022.”
Beasley’s tweet included a link to a page on the World Food Programme website headlined “A one-time appeal to billionaires.”
According to the page, a “perfect storm of conflict, climatic issues, the consequences of the COVID-19 epidemic, and escalating costs for reaching people in need is producing a seismic food crisis,” and the $6.6 billion “would help stave off starving for 42 million people across 43 nations.”
The plan’s specifics illustrate how Musk’s money would be utilized to alleviate hunger.
The majority of the funds, $3.5 billion, would be spent to purchase and transport food to locations where it is most needed. The next-largest sum, $2 billion, would be used to distribute food and cash vouchers in places where markets exist.
Another $700 million would be used for “country-specific costs to design, scale up and manage the implementation” of the program, while $400 million would be for “global and regional operations management, administration and accountability.”
The plan is further broken down to illustrate that the $6.6 billion would give one meal per day to people in 43 impoverished countries at a cost of $0.43 per meal. The WFP said that Musk’s money “would feed 42 million people for one year, and avert the risk of famine.”
As of Tuesday evening, Musk had not publicly responded to or commented on Beasley’s precise plan. Tesla was contacted by Newsweek for comment.
Beasley, a former Republican governor of South Carolina, was the first to answer to Musk when the Tesla CEO challenged the WFP to explain him how his money would address the problem.
The WFP chief pointed out that the article Musk was commenting on wrongly stated that he believed the money would “solve” hunger, arguing that it would instead “save 42 million people on the brink of starvation.”
“I can be on the next flight to you,” Beasley tweeted at Musk. “Throw me out if you don’t like what you hear! … We can meet anywhere—Earth or space—but I suggest in the field where you can see @WFP’s people, processes and yes, technology, at work. I will bring the plan, and open books.”