By Nelson Ikechukwu Nworie
Over the past few weeks, Elon Musk has been actively engaged with the United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP) about their role in helping address problems concerning global hunger.
The story began when World Food Programme director David Beasley remarked in an interview that a fraction of the wealth held by billionaires such as Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk might actually save millions of people from starving. He estimated that $6 billion could rescue the lives of 42 million people from famine. This value is estimated to be around 2% of Elon Musk’s total fortune.
In response, Elon Musk, in a Tweet, asked the World Food Program to explain how a donation of $6 billion will be spent to eradicate world famine.
Following the challenge, the head of the UN agency for food assistance David Beasley developed a plan outlining exactly how a donation of 6 billion dollars could eradicate global hunger by 2022. The Director of the World Food Program tweeted about the link analyzing how the funds will be used as follows.
WPF will be spending US$3.5 billion on food and its delivery. These costs include the price of the food, shipping and transporting it, warehousing and delivering it to those who need it most using air, land, and river transport with truck drivers and security assistance in conflict-affected zones.
$2 billion in cash and food vouchers for people in need [including transaction fees] is the kind of assistance that makes it possible to choose what they most want to purchase. This type of help is good for the local economy.
Likewise, the WFP will invest $700 million to implement efficient and effective food-related programs in 43 countries, including the design, scaling up, and management of these programs. The project also includes spending $400 million on global and regional operations management, administrative, and accountability functions.
Elon Musk said on Twitter that he would sell his Tesla shares if the United Nations could prove that they could solve hunger with his money.
It is going to be interesting to see how the story unfolds from here.