17th January 2021
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WFP wins Nobel Peace Prize for fight against ‘hunger as a weapon of war’

Author: CNN | Published: Friday, October 9, 2020

Villagers collect food aid dropped from a plane in gunny bags from a plane onto a drop zone at a village in Ayod county, South Sudan, where WFP have just carried out an food drop of grain and supplementary aid on February 6, 2020 | Credit Tony Karumba/AFP via Getty Images

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the World Food Programme (WFP) for its “efforts to combat hunger” and its “contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas.”

The Norwegian Nobel Committee, which presented the award in Oslo on Friday, also described the organization as “a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.”

In awarding the prize, committee chair Berit Reiss-Andersen noted the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on global food supplies and criticized the politics of populism.

The WFP, a United Nations entity, was created in 1961 and today provides food to over 90 million people a year.

The organization tweeted its “deepest thanks” after for the honor, adding: “This is a powerful reminder to the world that peace and #ZeroHunger go hand-in-hand.”

The Norwegian Nobel Committee said the need for international solidarity and multilateral cooperation was more conspicuous than ever. It said it wanted to turn the eyes of the world towards the millions of people who suffer from or face the threat of hunger.

“The coronavirus pandemic has contributed to a strong upsurge in the number of victims of hunger in the world,” said Reiss-Andersen.

“In the face of the pandemic, the World Food Programme has demonstrated an impressive ability to intensify its efforts.

“As the organization itself has stated: until the day we have a vaccine, food is the best vaccine against chaos,” Reiss-Andersen added.

The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the most prestigious in the world and recognizes those who have contributed the most towards ending conflict, promoting peace and building relationships between nations. This year’s award carries particular significance in a period dominated by division, economic woes and a global pandemic.

The combination of conflict and the pandemic has led to a dramatic rise in the number of people living on the brink of starvation in countries including Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, South Sudan and Burkina Faso. The WFP has combined humanitarian work with peace efforts in South America, Africa and Asia.

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