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Musk agrees to ‘solve world hunger’ for $8bn, but there’s a catch

·Personal Finance Editor
·2-min read
Australian currency and Elon Musk
Elon Musk said he will help fix world hunger if the United Nations can show him exactly how it can be done. (Source: Getty)

Elon Musk has agreed to solve world hunger in response to a United Nations official who suggested the Tesla founder would be able to do so using just 2 per cent of his fortune.

Musk was responding to comments by David Beasley, director of the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP), who repeated a call last week asking billionaires like Musk to “step up now, on a one-time basis.”

Beasley suggested 2 per cent of Musk’s wealth, around $8 billion (US$6 billion), would be able to solve world hunger.

And now Musk has called his bluff in a Twitter exchange where he said if presented with an exact plan for how world hunger could be solved with that money he would sell enough Tesla shares to do it.

“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,” Musk wrote on Twitter.

“But it must be open source accounting, so the public sees precisely how the money is spent.”

Musk’s current net worth is $413 billion (US$311 billion), according to the billionaires index.

COVID sees the rich get richer

COVID-19 was a surprise factor in the world’s richest becoming even richer last year. In fact, the combined wealth of the United States’ top 12 billionaires surpassed US$1 trillion for the first time in history thanks to the pandemic.

And, it wasn't just in the US - Australia’s top 200 richest people got even richer last year as COVID-19 boosted technology and commodity prices.

The Australian Financial Review Rich List revealed that for the second year in a row Gina Rinehart was the richest Aussie with a $31.06 billion fortune.

The 200 individuals and families on the 2021 list are worth a combined $479.6 billion, up from $424 billion six months earlier.

The top 10 richest Aussies:

  1. Gine Rinehart - $31.06 billion

  2. Andrew Forrest - $27.25 billion

  3. Mike Cannon-Brookes - $20.18 billion

  4. Anthony Pratt and family - $20.09 billion

  5. Scott Farquhar - $20 billion

  6. Harry Triguboff - $17.27 billion

  7. Clive Palmer - $13.01 billion

  8. Hui Wing Mau - $11.7 billion

  9. Frank Lowy - $8.51 billion

  10. Melanie Perkinds and Cliff Obrecht - $7.98 billion

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