Nobel Peace Prize Goes To United Nations’ World Food ProgramOctober 16, 2020
The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP), the world’s largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security.
Announcing the news, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said it is awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to the UN agency “for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.”
In 2019, the WFP provided assistance to close to 100 million people in 88 countries who are victims of acute food insecurity and hunger.
As the UN’s largest specialized agency, WFP is its primary instrument for eradicating hunger, one of its Sustainable Development Goals.
In recent years, millions have suffered from acute hunger, mainly caused by war and armed conflict.
The coronavirus pandemic has contributed to a strong upsurge in the number of victims of hunger in the world. The Nobel Committee observed that WFP has demonstrated an impressive ability to intensify its efforts.
It also warned that the world is in danger of experiencing a hunger crisis of inconceivable proportions if the World Food Program and other food assistance organizations do not receive the financial support they have requested.
The Committee noted that World Food Program has taken the lead in combining humanitarian work with peace efforts through pioneering projects in South America, Africa and Asia.
The World Food Program was an active participant in the diplomatic process that culminated in May 2018 in the UN Security Council’s unanimous adoption of Resolution 2417, which for the first time explicitly addressed the link between conflict and hunger.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee said that with this year’s award, it wishes to turn the eyes of the world towards the millions of people who suffer from or face the threat of hunger.
“The World Food Program plays a key role in multilateral cooperation on making food security an instrument of peace, and has made a strong contribution towards mobilizing UN Member States to combat the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict,” it added.
Responding top the recognition, WFP Executive Director David Beasley said, “The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the World Food Program (WFP) is a humbling, moving recognition of the work of WFP staff who lay their lives on the line every day to bring food and assistance for close to 100 million hungry children, women and men across the world.”
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