Your world hunger argument doesn’t pass Musker, Elon

Ideas

Your world hunger argument doesn’t pass Musker, Elon

If Musk and his ilk don’t want to invest in food aid, they should fund climate-smart innovations

Amanda Little

When UN World Food Programme (WFP) director David Beasley recently called for billionaires to help solve world hunger, Elon Musk took the bait, vowing to sell $6bn (about R90bn) in Tesla stock if Beasley could tweet “exactly how” the money would feed humanity. Predictably, the media and Twitterverse erupted, mostly in protest.

Beasley’s provocation was not only defensible, it was necessary, as are big investments from Musk and other private-sector leaders. Forty-two million people are on the brink of famine. Musk could buy each of them a 43c meal a day, which over 365 days amounts to $6.6bn (about R99bn). That intervention would hardly solve world hunger, but near term it would save many lives.

What was lost in the ensuing social media fracas was the idea that investments in food security must extend well beyond emergency aid...

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