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UN food chief: 2-percent of Elon Musk's worth could help solve world hunger

"$6 billion to help 42 million people that are literally going to die if we don't reach them. It's not complicated," David Beasley said.
Credit: AP | Jae C. Hong

CALIFORNIA, USA — Sometimes it can feel like the answer to how to end world hunger will never come about. But according to the United Nation's World Food Programme executive director, it lies within the pockets of billionaires.

During an interview with CNN, David Beasley called on the world's billionaires to "step up now, on a one-time basis" to help solve world hunger.

"$6 billion to help 42 million people that are literally going to die if we don't reach them. It's not complicated," Beasley told the national outlet, specifically naming Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos — AKA, the world's richest men who also happen to be involved in the space industry.

According to Bloomberg, Musk has a net worth of $287 billion with money coming in from his companies like Tesla and SpaceX. For him to donate the $6 billion the UN is looking for it would only cost 2-percent of his fortune.

As for Bezos, who Bloomberg currently reports has a net worth of $196 billion, it would cost 3-percent of his earnings to help solve world hunger.

Beasley is not the first from the United Nations to have strong words for billionaires putting their money behind flights and missions sending everyday people to space, instead of investing it in humanity back here on Earth. 

Earlier this year, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said a "malady of mistrust" was spread when Bezos and Sir Richard Branson launched their respective suborbital sightseeing flights and Musk sent an all-civilian crew on a mission to orbit Earth.

During a speech, the Associated Press reports Guterres pointed to the fact that billionaires were "joyriding to space while millions go hungry on Earth."

The topic even came up during the filming of SpaceX's Netflix documentary "Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space" which followed the crew of Inspiration4 from mission development through liftoff. 

"I think we should spend the vast majority of our resources solving problems on Earth — like 99-percent, plus of our, you know, economy should be dedicated to solving problems on Earth," Musk said, adding that 1-percent or less could be applied to "extending life beyond Earth." 

It appears Musk and Bezos have yet to respond to the call to action.

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