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SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk in Wilmington, Del., in July. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and other billionaires should donate 0.36% of their net worth to help save 42 million people from starvation, the UN's World Food Program (WFP) director said in an interview with CNN on Tuesday.

Why it matters: "We have a one-time crisis, a perfect storm of conflict, climate change and COVID" and America's super-rich need to "step up" with a one-time donation to help solve that, WFP chief David Beasley told CNN's "Connect the World."

  • World hunger reached a 15-year-high in 2020, according to a United Nations report this year that outlined how the pandemic has reversed years of progress in global malnutrition.

Driving the news: Beasley said Amazon chief Bezos' net worth rose last year by $64 billion — and that SpaceX and Tesla CEO Musk saw a $6 billion net worth increase in one day last week.

  • "$6 billion to help 42 million people that are literally going to die if we don't reach them," he said to CNN's Becky Anderson. "It's not complicated."

By the numbers: Based on Bloomberg's calculations that Musk has a net worth of nearly $289 billion, CNN noted that this equated to 2% of his wealth.

  • Beasley said the top 400 billionaires in the U.S. saw a net worth increase of $1.8 trillion in the past year.
"The world is in trouble and you're telling me you can't give me .36% of your net worth increase to help the world [that's] in trouble at a time like this?"

Of note: Beasley's comments follow his tweet to Musk calling on him to help last week after the billionaire surpassed Bezos as the world’s richest person last week, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

  • Representatives for Musk and Bezos did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper

Jul 27, 2020 - Technology

Big Tech's power, in 4 numbers

Data: FactSet; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The four Big Tech CEOs who will testify before Congress Wednesday command global empires with power and wealth that make them more like countries than companies.

By the numbers: Here are four very large stats for Facebook, Apple, Google/Alphabet and Amazon that tell the story of their value, scale and influence.

58 mins ago - World

Scoop: Iran preparing to enrich weapons-grade uranium, Israel warns U.S.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi holds a press conference. Photo: Presidency of Iran handout via Getty

Israel has shared intelligence over the past two weeks with the U.S. and several European allies suggesting that Iran is taking technical steps to prepare to enrich uranium to 90% purity — the level needed to produce a nuclear weapon, two U.S. sources briefed on the issue tell me.

Why it matters: Enriching to 90% would bring Iran closer than ever to the nuclear threshold. The Israeli warnings come as nuclear talks resume in Vienna, with Iran returning to the negotiating table on Monday after a five-month hiatus.

Biden: Fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Monday said that the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, is "a cause for concern, not a cause for panic."

Driving the news: Biden said later this week the administration will be releasing a strategy on how "we're going to fight COVID this winter. Not with shutdowns or lockdowns, but with more widespread vaccinations, boosters, testing and more."