Why Elon Musk is not Going to End World Hunger?

The recent social media feud between tech billionaire Elon Musk and David Beasley of the UN World Food Programme has drawn attention to an important debate over the aid sector, and why, it seems, no matter how much money is spent, global hunger continues. In fact, the number of undernourished people in the world has risen consistently over the last three years.

Musk is probably not going to sign that $ 6 billion cheque (though it would be great if he did), but he is not wrong about the aid sector being broken. He, like many others, just doesn’t seem to understand why; or perhaps he has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

Wealthy elites tend to think it’s a question of management strategies and transparent accounting – that surely the administrators of charities must be wasting money instead of running a lean and brutally efficient private sector industry. So, yes, the global aid sector is broken, but not because of management. It is broken because it has to pander to billionaire donors like Musk, while boardrooms of mostly Western white men make decisions based solely on the preferences of their billionaire donors.

Billionaire Elon Musk challenged the United Nations (UN) to show how $6 billion of his fortune could be used to overcome world hunger, prompting the UN’s World Food Programme to produce a detailed plan.

Musk’s challenge was sparked by earlier comments from World Food Programme chief, David Beasley, who told CNN that 2% of Musk’s wealth could end world hunger.

In a tweet, the world’s richest man suggested he would sell stock in his electric car manufacturing company Tesla and donate the billion-dollar proceeds if the UN could demonstrate exactly how his money would be spent.

Responding to the tweet, Beasley urged billionaires like Musk to step up and support the fight against hunger, giving a breakdown of how $6.6 billion could help avert catastrophe. The UN plan outlines how the money – a small percentage of Musk’s fortune estimated in the hundreds of billions – could support 42 million people threatened with famine in 43 of the world’s worst-hit countries for a year.

Here’s how $6.6 billion could prevent world hunger
The World Food Programme plan would spend $3.5 billion on food and deliver it to those most in need. This includes the cost of shipping, storage, and transport by air, road, and river, and security escorts to safeguard food distribution in conflict-affected zones. The money could provide one meal per person, per day for a year, keeping tens of millions of people from starvation.

A further $2 billion could fund cash and voucher programs in places with functioning markets, allowing people to choose the food they eat while supporting local economies.

World Food Programme’s plan to solve world hunger for 1 year

A total of $700 million is set aside for ‘country-specific costs’, such as setting up voucher schemes and building and securing local offices to ensure food assistance reaches the most vulnerable.

Management, administration, and accounting for global and regional operations total $400 million, which includes coordinating supply lines, analyzing global hunger levels, and appointing independent auditors.

Here’s how $6.6 billion could prevent world hunger

The World Food Programme plan would spend $3.5 billion on food and deliver it to those most in need. This includes the cost of shipping, storage, and transport by air, road, and river and security escorts to safeguard food distribution in conflict-affected zones. The money could provide one meal per person, per day for a year, keeping tens of millions of people from starvation.

A further $2 billion could fund cash and voucher programs in places with functioning markets, allowing people to choose the food they eat while supporting local economies.