Elon Musk gets proof from UN that his taxes could combat world poverty

World Food Programme lays out plan to ‘assist 42 million people facing famine’ in ‘one-time appeal to billionaires’

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Tuesday 16 November 2021 17:42
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The United Nations has provided Tesla CEO Elon Musk with the plan he requested for how €6bn worth of Tesla stocks would be spent to end world hunger.

Mr Musk earlier promised to sell some of his shares if the UN revealed how the funds would be used. In a Twitter conversation with David Beasley, the executive director for the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and former Republican governor of South Carolina urged Mr Musk and other billionaires to help solve world hunger.

“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,” Mr Musk said. “But it must be open source accounting, so the public sees precisely how the money is spent.”

“The world is on fire. I’ve been warning about the perfect storm brewing due to Covid, conflict, climate shocks and now, rising supply chain costs,” Mr Beasley tweeted on Monday.

“IT IS HERE. 45M lives are at stake-and increasing daily. If you don’t feed people, you feed conflict, destabilization and mass migration.

“This hunger crisis is urgent, unprecedented, AND avoidable. @elonmusk, you asked for a clear plan & open books. 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.”

In a “one-time appeal to billionaires”, the WFP laid out its plan to “assist 42 million people facing famine”, requesting $6.6bn to help people in 43 countries.

The UN said $3.5bn would be used for “food and its delivery”, which would include the cost of shipping and transport, as well as storage and “last mile” food delivery via air, land, and river. It would also fund truck drivers and security measures needed “in conflict-affected zones to distribute food to those who need it most”.

In areas where markets are functional, the UN said $2bn is needed for cash and food vouchers.

“This type of assistance enables those most in need to buy the food of their choice and supports local economies,” the WFP said.

The agency added that $700m is needed “for country-specific costs to design, scale-up and manage the implementation of efficient and effective programmes for millions of tons more food and cash transfers and vouchers”.

This would also fund “office and satellite-office facilities and their security, and the monitoring of distributions and results, ensuring the assistance reaches the most vulnerable”.

The WFP also laid out the plans for $400m to be used “for global and regional operations management, administration, and accountability”.

The UN said this would include “coordination of global supply lines and aviation routes, global logistics coordination such as freight contracting, global monitoring and analysis of hunger worldwide, and risk management and independent auditors dedicated to oversight”.

Mr Beasley said these efforts wouldn’t end famines, but that millions of lives would be saved.

“$6B will not solve world hunger, but it WILL prevent geopolitical instability, mass migration and save 42 million people on the brink of starvation,” Mr Beasley wrote on Twitter. “An unprecedented crisis and a perfect storm due to Covid/conflict/climate crises.”

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