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26.04.2022 Featured FACT CHECK: Did Musk Change His Mind on Ending World Hunger After Acquiring Twitter?

Published 26th Apr, 2022

By Joseph Adeiye

Elon Musk, the richest man in the world, made a promise to end worldwide hunger in November 2021, if anyone could present a six-billion-dollar plan to him.

After Musk’s successful Twitter acquisition on Monday, a claim that the Tesla CEO had abandoned his plan of ending world hunger gained traction.  

CLAIM: A Twitter user with the handle @CaptAmazo said Musk had decided to abandon his plan ending world hunger despite being presented with the six-billion-dollar plan he requested.

“Elon Musk told the UN that if they gave him a budgeted breakdown of how $6Bil [sic] could end world hunger, he would do it. They gave him the budget and then he decided not to do it, and instead decided he would buy Twitter for $45Bil,” the user tweeted on Monday. 

This claim has amassed over 200,000 reactions, including 179,000 likes on the microblogging app.  

READ ALSO: Army Lied Troops Shot At Houses in Enugu Village

VERIFICATION: Musk was only responding to a claim made that two per cent of his net worth could help end worldwide hunger in 2021.

A CNN report quoted David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), when he said:

“$6 billion to help 42 million people that are literally going to die if we don’t reach them. It’s not complicated.” 

David Eli, the co-founder of DeepInstinct, called Musk’s attention to the statement and asked why the WFP needed six billion dollars to solve world hunger in 2021 when it raised over eight billion in 2020.   

Eli also referred to the news report featuring Beasley, with the headline: Two per cent of Elon Musk’s wealth could solve world hunger, says director of UN food scarcity organisation.

The headline was later changed to:

Two per cent of Elon Musk’s wealth could help solve world hunger, says director of UN food scarcity organization.

READ ALSO: TIMELINE: How Elon Musk’s Love For Twitter Led Him To Take Over the Platform

The implication of the WFP claim provoked Musk and he challenged the United Nations and its sub-organisations to provide a plan that could solve world hunger with the said amount.

The media outfit later made a correction admitting that an earlier version of this story’s headline was incorrect. 

Beasley also replied to Musk by clarifying that the initial headline of the news report was inaccurate. He told Musk that the amount he mentioned will only prevent geopolitical instability, mass migration, and save 42 million people on the brink of starvation.

READ ALSO: Is the Edit Button Finally Here? What Elon Musk’s Twitter Acquisition Means For Users

CONCLUSION: Musk did promise he would provide six billion dollars from his stock at Tesla if it would solve world hunger.

However, Musk did not get a plan that would solve world hunger from the organisations he challenged. The report upon which the six-billion-dollar solution was made had a faulty headline. Beasley also confirmed that it would cost more than six billion dollars to end world hunger.

VERDICT: The claim that Musk decided not to end world hunger after acquiring Twitter is false. He has also received no such plan from the UN or WFP to solve world hunger with the said amount.

Published 26th Apr, 2022

By Joseph Adeiye

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