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‘What happened here?’: Elon Musk Confronts UN over Child Sexual Abuse Scandals

Elon Musk, the world’s wealthiest man, has challenged the United Nations over disturbing reports that children in developing countries had been forced to have sex with UN officials in order to receive food. Musk’s comments were made on social media as the Tesla CEO addressed David Beasley, executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme, after Musk said he would sell Tesla stock worth $6 billion to fight world hunger if the UN could explain exactly how that amount would solve the problem.

The billionaire business magnate and founder of Tesla and SpaceX also stipulated that the organisation use “open source accounting, so the public sees precisely how the money is spent.”

The dispute between Musk and Beasley erupted on Twitter after the latter urged Musk to donate $6 billion (a reported 2 per cent of Musk’s wealth) to help combat world hunger.

Beasley hit back at Musk, writing on Twitter: “$6B will not solve world hunger, but it WILL prevent geopolitical instability, mass migration and save 42 million people on the brink of starvation,” adding: “An unprecedented crisis and a perfect storm due to Covid/conflict/climate crises.”

In response, Musk challenged Beasley on reports of shocking child sexual abuse from UN officials.

“What happened here?” Musk asked in response, linking to a news story from 2015 on harrowing reports that children as young as nine in the war-torn Central African Republic were forced to give oral sex to United Nations officials in order to receive food.

According to the report in the UK’s Daily Express, “Memos about the sexual abuse in the Central African Republic were “passed from desk to desk, inbox to inbox, across multiple UN offices, with no one willing to take responsibility”, the report found. It added: “The welfare of the victims and the accountability of the perpetrators appeared to be an afterthought, if considered at all.”

The investigation also revealed that “French peacekeepers from the UN’s children agency, UNICEF, failed to act on reports of sexual abuse in early 2014 in the midst of civil war.

“UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed “profound regret that these children were betrayed by the very people sent to protect them” and said he accepted the panel’s broad findings,” The Daily Express said.

The United Nations, UNICEF, and the World Food Programme (which was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2002), have been rocked by allegations of systematic sexual abuse.
An explosive report by Breitbart News published last October claimed that there the Nobel Prize-winning World Food Programme has a “record of rape at corruption”. The world’s biggest aid organisation has, for the last decade, been “marred by a variety of scandals, from concerns about corruption and theft of aid to struggles internally to contain sexual assault and rape, and at least one incident where WFP food aid poisoned and killed people” according to the bombshell report.

In 2019, an internal independent review of workplace culture in the WFP revealed that two dozen people at the agency had experienced rape or sexual assault while on the job, whilst the number of reported incidents of sexual assault more generally was significantly higher.
The study, conducted by consultants from the firm Willis Towers Watson (WTW), also uncovered “startling results concerning the experience of abusive behaviour” more generally at the WFP. Consultants carried out an anonymous survey of employees at the company; of those asked, 28 said they had experienced “rape, attempted rape, or other sexual assault,” roughly twice the amount who reported similarly throughout the entire U.N.

Respondents also reported higher rates of “abuse of authority” with 35 per cent saying they had experienced it at the organization – where the term was defined as including “overbearing supervision” and “interference with career opportunities.” A further 29 per cent said they experienced non-sexual harassment, including “shouting and aggression” and“spreading rumours.” In conclusion, the 2019 report stated that the WFP needed a “systematic overhaul” of how it treats its workers.

Last September, U.N. agency UNICEF also found itself at the centre of an internal inquiry into allegations of sexual abuse of women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), as claims of rape by U.N. workers threatened to topple the organisation. The children’s fund said it was “appalled that people who identify as UNICEF workers have reportedly committed abuse against vulnerable women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”

In 2020, the World Health Organisation (the WHO) was also swept up in allegations of distressing sexual abuse and said it was reviewing a “small number” of sexual abuse or exploitation reports in Congo. The organisation declined to say whether they took place during the Ebola outbreak in the east of the country, which ended in June after more than 2,200 deaths.

According to MENAFN, (The Middle East North Africa Financial Network), 51 women came forward in interviews to accuse aid workers of sexual abuse.
Many of their accounts were backed up by aid agency drivers and local NGO workers according to the report. The women recounted multiple incidences of abuse during the 2018 and 2020 Ebola crisis, mainly by men who told them they were international workers.
According to the report, “Women said they were plied with drinks, others ambushed in offices and hospitals, and some locked in rooms by men who promised jobs or threatened to fire them if they did not comply.

“So many women were affected by this,” said one 44-year-old woman, who told reporters that to get a job she had sex with a man who said he was a WHO worker. She and the other women spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals. Some identifying details have been removed to protect their identities.

“I can’t think of someone who worked in the response who didn’t have to offer something,” she added.

A WHO spokeswoman said the allegations stemming from the investigation were being reviewed internally whilst encouraging the women involved to contact the WHO. Many victims, however, said they had never reported the shocking incidents out of fear of reprisal or losing their jobs, while most also admitted that they were ashamed of what had happened.

Meanwhile, Musk responded to the UN’s request for funding by saying that he would fund the initiative on the condition that it uses “open source accounting, so the public sees precisely how the money is spent.”

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