David Beasley, the executive director for the UN’s World Food Programme said that one single $6 billion donation from the world’s biggest billionaires, including Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos –founders of Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Amazon Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) respectively– could save millions from starvation.
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The assertion came during an interview Beasley gave to CNN on Tuesday during which he said, “The governments are tapped out… This is why and this is when the billionaires need to step up now on a one-time basis. Six billion dollars to help 42 million people that are literally going to die if we don't reach them.”
“It's not complicated. I'm not asking them to do this every day, every week, every year,” he added.
According to a May report by the UN, at least 155 million people were dealing with food insecurity last year. Within this number, 42 million were believed to be “at the most dire level” and were “knocking on famine's door” due to the convergence of COVID-19, climate change, and conflict.
Beasley pointed to how Bezos had increased his worth by more than $6 billion during the pandemic, and added that Musk had just seen a net-worth surge by the same amount in one day.
Forbes estimated Elon Musk's net worth at $253.8 billion and Bezos' at $196.1 billion as of Wednesday.
Business Insider asserts that “Both executives' fortunes are mostly a result their ownership of shares in companies they founded. Musk, for instance, saw his net worth rise by tens of billions of dollars on Monday alone as Tesla's stock soared on news of a large vehicle order by the car-rental firm Hertz.”
Beasley told CNN, “The top 400 billionaires in the United States, the net-worth increase was $1.8 trillion in the past year… All I'm asking for is 0.36% of your net-worth increase.”
“I'm for people making money, but God knows I'm all for you helping people who are in great need right now. The world is in trouble."
Beasley went on to invite any billionaire on a trip so they could see the issue for themselves, and also said: "We got a vaccine for this –it's called money, food. It's easy. Billionaires need to step up.
Tesla and Amazon are part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest publicly traded companies managed by their founders or their founders’ families.