Elon Musk, the world's richest person, says he will donate $US6 billion ($8 billion) to the UN's initiative to address world hunger if the global body can meet his terms.
The head of the UN's World Food Programme (WFP), David Beasley, has been campaigning for the world's wealthiest people to donate on a "one-time basis" to address dire food shortages affecting tens of millions of people.
In an interview with CNN, Mr Beasley said the world's billionaires could give a combined ”$6 billion to help 42 million people that are literally going to die if we don't reach them".
“It's not complicated,” he said.
Mr Musk, the owner of Tesla and SpaceX, responded to the call, albeit with some scepticism.
He said if WFP could detail exactly how that amount of money would "solve world hunger" a phase he borrowed from a CNN headline paraphrasing Mr Beasley — he would make the donation.
"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," Mr Musk said on social media.
"It must be open source accounting, so the public sees precisely how the money is spent."
Mr Musk's net worth is estimated by Forbes to be more than $US315 billion ($420 billion), a number that has grown dramatically in recent weeks due in part to the soaring price of the Tesla shares he owns.
Mr Beasley said he never claimed the donation would solve world hunger — blaming the "inaccurate" headline on CNN for the misunderstanding — but that it would "prevent geopolitical instability, mass migration and save 42 million people on the brink of starvation".
Mr Beasley made an offer to show Mr Musk "the plan, and open books" if he agreed to a meeting.
The World Food Programme won the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to end world hunger, particularly by countering the use of hunger as a weapon of war.
WFP's website says it urgently needs $US6.6 billion ($8.8 billion) in order to implement its "expertise, deep-field presence and operational scale to stop famine in its tracks, and steer people away from the edge of starvation".
The organisation lists conflict as one of the biggest causes of global famine, and names Yemen, South Sudan, Nigeria and Afghanistan as some of the countries most likely to be affected.
It says it addresses famine through emergency food assistance, rapid responses, and longer-term strategies.
In 2020, the agency received $US8.4 billion ($11.2 billion) in donations, which it says was $US5.3 billion ($7.1 billion) short of its requirements.
A 2020 internal audit of WFP's management of contributions or donations found it was "partially satisfactory" but in need of some improvement.
by ABC News.