The World Food Programme, a World Bank agency was announced as the Nobel Peace Prize winner, for its efforts to combat hunger and its contribution towards improving conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee revealed the winner of the coveted honour during a ceremony on Friday in Oslo, Norway.
There were 318 candidates, 211 individuals and 107 organisations nominated for the award, and these included Greta Thunberg, teenage climate change campaigner, Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand Prime Minister, Loujain al Hathloul.the World Health Organisation and Saudi activist.
However, the UN-based organization, has long specialized in getting assistance to some of the world’s most dangerous and unsafe places. It provides assistance to almost 100 million people in 88 countries every year.
The organization, has been a mainspring in trying to avert the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.
Berit Reiss-Andersen, the chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee said, ‘With this year’s award, the committee wishes to turn the eyes of the world to the millions of people who suffer from or face the threat of hunger’.
The committee affirmed that, ‘The World Food Programme plays a key role in multilateral cooperation in making food security an instrument of peace. It noted that it ‘contributes daily to advancing the fraternity of nations mentioned in Alfred Nobel’s will.’
David Beasley, the Head of the World Food Programme, said he was left speechless by the award.
He said, ‘I think this is the first time in my life I’ve been without words, I was just so shocked and surprised.’
The agency tweeted that it was ‘deeply humbled’ by the award, which was ‘in recognition of the work of WFP staff who put their lives on the line every day to bring food and assistance to more than 100 million hungry children, women and men across the world.’
The Nobel Committee chairperson stated that, the issue of hunger has become more critical in recent years and the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has added to the hunger already faced by millions of people around the world.
‘In 2019, 135 million people suffered from acute hunger, the highest number in many years.’ And ‘most of the increase was 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 need for international solidarity and multilateral cooperation is more conspicuous than ever.’
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