The Nobel Peace Prize for 2020 has been awarded to the World Food Programme (WFP) for its efforts to combat hunger and bettering conditions in conflict-affected areas.
The World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organisation addressing hunger and promoting food security. It has been the United Nations primary instrument in eradicating hunger as part of its Sustainable Development Goals.
Last year, it provided assistance to close to 100 million people in 88 countries who are victims of acute food insecurity and hunger. Around 135 million people suffered from hunger last year with most of the increase caused by war and conflict.
During the ongoing global pandemic, the programme has contributed to alleviating a strong upsurge in the number of hunger victims. The combination of the pandemic and violent conflict has led to a dramatic rise in the number of people living on the brink of starvation in Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, South Sudan and Burkina Faso.
“Until the day we have a vaccine, food is the best vaccine against chaos,” says the World Food Programme.
The world is in danger of experiencing a hunger crisis of inconceivable proportions if the World Food Programme and other assistance organisations do not receive the financial support they have requested.
The Nobel Committee noted that the World Food Programme 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 Security Council had also underscored the UN member states obligation to ensure food reaches all those in need and condemned the use of starvation as a method of warfare.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee said that with this year’s award it wanted to turn the eyes of the world towards the millions of people who suffer from or face the threat of hunger.