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Musk offers to give $6B if UN can prove it can solve world hunger

Elon Musk says he will sell $6 billion worth of Tesla stock and donate the proceeds to the United Nations if it can show how the money would solve world hunger.

Video Transcript

BRIAN SOZZI: The UN says $6 billion from the world's billionaires would help solve the world's hunger crisis. Yahoo Finance's Emily McCormick is here with the details. Emily, this one caught the attention of Elon Musk.

EMILY MCCORMICK: That's right. Tesla's CEO Elon Musk is challenging a United Nations official to show him how a $6 billion donation could help those struggling with hunger around the world. Now this all began when David Beasley, the director of the United Nations World Food Program, said during a CNN interview that billionaires, including Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, could offer a one-time donation that would help tens of millions of people suffering from hunger. Now, according to Beasley, a $6 billion donation would help 42 million people on the brink of starvation.

Now, to this call to action, Musk said in a Twitter post yesterday, quote, "If WFP can describe on this Twitter thread exactly $6 billion will solve world hunger, I will sell Tesla stock right now and do it." Now he also added that any explanation must use open source accounting so the public can see exactly how that money is spent. And to that, Beasley said in his own Twitter reply, quote, "I can assure you that we have the systems in place for transparency and open source accounting. [INAUDIBLE] for us to be totally confident of such."

Now Beasley also responded to some other Twitter users' criticism that the United Nations Food Program spent $8.4 billion in 2020 and not solved world hunger by saying that that 8.5-- or $8.4 billion rather had covered what was needed to reach 115 million people last year with food assistance, but that the organization would need an additional $6 billion now on top of their existing funds in order to address the, quote, "perfect storm" for the compounding impact of COVID conflict and climate shocks.

Now, of course, whether this move or this donation of the scale actually gets any traction remains to be seen, though it certainly has been a talking point on Twitter. And we should note that, of course, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has become the world's richest person in tandem with that rise in the market capitalization of Tesla. That stock is up today at another record high. It's on track to rise for a fourth consecutive session.

And based on Bloomberg data right now, Elon Musk's net worth is at about $311 billion. And that sum has increased by more than $141 billion so far for the year to date alone. So, certainly, still seeing his net worth continuing to climb in tandem with Tesla stock. And again, we are seeing those shares moving to the upside today as well, guys.

KARINA MITCHELL: Yeah, I was just going to say he's worth a lot more today than that $311 billion. So how philanthropic is Elon Musk? What are some of his previous donations that he's made?

EMILY MCCORMICK: Well, Karina, Elon Musk, of course, as his fortune, has climbed over the past more than a year now, of course, again moving up with Tesla stock. Elon Musk has pointed out in the past that it has been a little bit difficult to actually vet what types of organizations would make the most impact when it comes to actually making these donations. He wrote in a Twitter post in January, quote, critical feedback is always super appreciated, as well as ways to donate money that really make a difference. Way harder than it seems is how he put it.

Now if we take a look at some of his past philanthropic efforts, he did donate $5 million to Khan Academy, which is a platform for online courses. He also reportedly gave $5 million to a pair of Boston area researchers, who were studying the coronavirus and $1 million to feeding Texas, which operates food banks in, of course, the state that now Tesla calls as its headquarters itself. So a number of investments and donations that Elon Musk has been making in the past year. Not quite at that $6 billion mark, but there have been some in that multimillion dollar range, guys.

BRIAN SOZZI: Emily McCormick, thanks so much.