World Food Program asks the rich to donate more

The head of the United Nations World Food Program told billionaires on Monday it was “time to step up” in the face of the global threat of food insecurity due to Russia’s war in Ukraine, saying he has seen signs encouraging words from some of the wealthiest people on the planet, like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.

Agency CEO David Beasley relied on an exchange he had with Musk on social media last year, when Tesla’s CEO challenged political activists to demonstrate how a $6 billion donation to which aspires the program could solve the problem of world hunger.

Since then, “Musk has given $6 billion to a foundation. But everyone thought that he was coming to us, but we have not received him yet. So I’m hopeful,” Beasley told The Associated Press at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where some of the world’s elites and biggest billionaires have gathered.

“I don’t know what it will take,” he said of Musk. “We’re trying every possible approach: Elon, we need your help, brother.”

Musk and Bezos did not immediately respond to emails or other messages requesting comment.

Musk is the richest man in the world. Last November he donated some 5 million Tesla shares worth about $5.7 billion to an unnamed charity, according to a regulatory filing.

The donation was made after Musk tweeted in late October that he would sell $6 billion worth of Tesla stock and give the money to the World Food Program if the organization outlined how the money would solve world hunger. The US Securities and Exchange Commission document does not mention anyone who received Musk’s donation.