Elon Musk Says He'll Give $6 Billion to UN if They Can Prove Large Sum Will 'Solve World Hunger'

The director of the UN's World Food Programme said $6 billion would help save 42 million people who are "literally going to die if we don't reach them"

Elon Musk
Elon Musk. Photo: Jeff Vespa/WireImage

Elon Musk says he is ready to sell $6 billion in Tesla stock if United Nations representatives can show how it will "solve world hunger."

The 50-year-old billionaire, who is the wealthiest person in the world, said he would make the donation in response to comments made by the United Nations' World Food Programme director, David Beasley, last week.

While speaking to CNN, Beasley called on a one-time donation of $6 billion from the world's billionaires to "help 42 million people that are literally going to die if we don't reach them," citing a "perfect storm" of conflict, climate change and COVID-19.

"What if it was your daughter starving to death? What if it was your family starving to death? Just, wake up, smell the coffee and help," Beasley said, specifically calling on Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Musk.

As the CNN story picked up steam online, Musk tweeted on Sunday that he would be willing to sell $6 billion in stock from his electric vehicle company, Tesla, to help solve world hunger if the World Food Programme could describe, on Twitter, how it would work.

"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," Musk wrote in reply to a tweet.

"But it must be open source accounting, so the public sees precisely how the money is spent," he added.

Beasley later replied to the thread, clarifying his stance: "Headline not accurate. $6B will not solve world hunger, but it WILL prevent geopolitical instability, mass migration and save 42 million people on the brink of starvation. An unprecedented crisis and a perfect storm due to Covid/conflict/climate crises." (CNN has since changed the headline and added the following clarification: "Correction: An earlier version of this story's headline incorrectly stated that the director of the UN's food scarcity organization believes 2% of Elon Musk's wealth could solve world hunger. He believes it could help solve world hunger.")

"With your help we can bring hope, build stability and change the future," Beasley added. "Let's talk: It isn't as complicated as Falcon Heavy, but too much at stake to not at least have a conversation. I can be on the next flight to you. Throw me out if you don't like what you hear!"

Musk then challenged Beasley to release the program's current and proposed spending so that the public could "see where the money goes."

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"Sunlight is a wonderful thing," Musk, also the founder of SpaceX, added.

Beasley responded on Monday morning, suggesting he and Musk meet in person.

"Instead of tweets, allow me to show you. 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," he wrote.

On Monday, Musk's net worth exceeded $313 billion, while Bezos was worth nearly $193 billion, according to Forbes.

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