Earlier in November, The CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk tweeted that $6 billion dollars of his own wealth can solve world hunger. He was challenging the World Food Program and the director did a fact check. Musk’s tweet created a lot of controversies. And, it made everyone reflect on the issues of world hunger and inequality. It seems as though the wealthy got wealthier during the pandemic and the poor got poorer. Many people especially those living in many third-world countries even lost more money.
The reason Musk tweeted that comment was due to a comment the World Food Program director, David Beasley said in an interview a few days prior to the tweet. He was pointing out that only a fraction of global billionaires like Musk and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s wealth, could save millions of starving people who are close to dying because of hunger. During the pandemic, the income of these billionaires had increased a lot, and the incomes of the low and middle class decreased. There were some who were just above the poverty line before the pandemic, were pushed to the poverty line due to the pandemic. David Beasley said that “$6 billion could save 42 million people from dying of hunger”. So, analysts were able to determine that $6 billion is actually around only 2% of Elon Musk’s total wealth. Musk is a very wealthy man!
As a response that was more like a challenge, Musk tweeted saying that if they can explain how his 2% would put an end to hunger, he would be willing to sell his shares.
Scientists were able to analyze how much money will it take to end world hunger. Is it $6 billion dollars? And, how many people are actually starving? They learned that the $6 billion dollars would not cure world hunger permanently, but could certainly help. They figured that $6 billion could feed around 42 million people for about a year.
Even before Musk’s tweet, researchers have been trying to determine estimations for curing world hunger. There have been many estimates related to ending poverty. The average estimate was $33 billion to end hunger by 2030. And, many charity organizations and activists have asked the wealthiest people in the world to help with this crisis. Activists point out that if the wealthy would donate or be taxed, a lot of food and basic items such as healthcare can be given to more of the poor. They view that the reason the poor are poorer is that the wealthy have accumulated more. This uneven distribution of wealth prevents the lowest economic class from buying the basics to help improve life.
Activists, charity organizations, and the World Food Program will keep pushing the wealthy like Elon Musk to help end world hunger.