Just 2% of Elon Musk’s wealth could help solve world hunger, UN says

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Elon Musk’s company Tesla recently passed $1 trillion in market value  (AP)
Elon Musk’s company Tesla recently passed $1 trillion in market value (AP)

A small group of billionaires could help solve world hunger with just a fraction of their wealth, the United Nations has said.

UN food chief David Beasley, director of the World Food Programme, called on wealthy individuals to “step up now, on a one-time basis” - specifically naming the world’s two richest men, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk.

He said that $6 billion would help 42 million feed people who are “literally going to die if we don’t reach them”, adding: “It’s not complicated”.

According to Bloomberg, Elon Musk has a net worth of nearly $289 billion (£209 billion), with his company Tesla reaching $1 trillion in market value earlier this week, the second fastest company to reach the mark.

CNN said that Musk would have to donate just 2 per cent of his wealth to help save people from hunger.

Beasley told the broadcaster that the world is currently facing “a perfect storm of conflict, climate change and Covid”, which he said means many nations are “knocking on famine’s door”.

A UN report earlier this year stated that world hunger had reached a 15-year-high in 2020, with the pandemic reversing years of progress in global malnutrition.

Half of Afghanistan’s 22.8 million population face a hunger crisis according to a report from the UN World Food Programme. The Taliban-ruled nation faces soaring unemployment and a liquidity crisis, leaving the country on the edge of a humanitarian crisis which would leave 3.2 million children under five years old at risk.

Beasley’s comments come following his direct tweet to Musk last week congratulating him for passing Bezos as the world’s richest person, but also calling on the Tesla boss to help save millions from starvation.

He wrote: “Congratulations to @elonmusk for passing up @JeffBezos as the world’s richest person - worth a whopping $221B! Elon, to celebrate I’m offering you a once in a lifetime opportunity: help us save 42M people from starvation for just $6.6B!! Offer expires SOON.. and lives do too.”

Musk recently announced plans for his company SpaceX to launch its next-generation Starship SN20 rocket next month after successfully testing its deep space Raptor Vacuum engine.

The launch will be the first orbital flight for the Mars-bound craft, which is being built to transport people and cargo around the Solar System.

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