The United Nation’s World Food Programme has received the Nobel Peace prize for their efforts to combat hunger across the globe while also working to improve conditions for peace.
The World Food Programme (WFP) becomes the 101st winner of the prize taking home $1.1M and the international body said it was “deeply humbled” to have won.
The UN World Food Programme was created in 1961 with the aim of fighting hunger across the world and today it provides food to over 100 million per year.
WFP emerged winner from a pool of over 107 organizations and 211 individuals who had been nominated for the prize.
The UN entity in a tweet said “Deepest thanks” for the prize and recognition and went on to add “This is a powerful reminder to the world that peace and #ZeroHunger go hand in hand.”
The head of WFP David Beasley says that he was absolutely shocked that his organization was selected as the Noble prize winner.
“I was literally for the first time in my life without words,” he said.
“To receive this award is a recognition to the men and women at the World Food Programme who put their lives on the line every day for the struggling, suffering people around the world. So I hope this is a signal and a message that the World Food Programme is a role model and that we all have got to do more.”
Another high level person to come out and congratulate World Food Programme upon winning the prize was German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“If there is a deserving organization then this is certainly one of them. The people there do incredible work helping others and therefore I am very pleased about the awarding of this Nobel Peace Prize,” she said.
The World Health Organization and climate activist Greta Thunberg were among the favourites to win this year.
Under the Nobel Foundation’s rules, nomination shortlists are not allowed to be published for 50 years, and the organization says any speculation ahead of the announcement is “sheer guesswork”.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee said the WFP was declared winner of the prestigious award “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”.
Chairwoman Berit Reiss-Andersen said that with this year’s award the committee wanted to “turn the eyes of the world to the millions of people who suffer from or face the threat of hunger”.
“The World Food Programme plays a key role in multilateral co-operation in making food security an instrument of peace,” she told a news conference in Oslo.
“The coronavirus pandemic has contributed to a strong upsurge in the number of victims of hunger in the world,” it wrote in a statement.
“In the face of the pandemic, the World Food Programme has demonstrated an impressive ability to intensify its efforts.”
UNAIDS is among the many organizations around the world that have come out to congratulate WFP on winning the Nobel Prize. “We are so proud of WFP’s achievement and are honoured to have WFP as one of our Cosponsors, working with us to end AIDS,” said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “We will continue to work closely together to achieve our shared goals of zero hunger, zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS-related deaths and zero discrimination for all.”
Author: Moses Echodu
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