The Nobel Peace Prize for 2020 has been awarded to World Food Programme (WFP). The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced the winner for this year’s peace prize on Friday at the Nobel Institute in Oslo.
The Nobel Prize Committee took to Twitter to announce the winner: “The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize to the World Food Programme (WFP).”
“The World Food Programme contributes daily to advancing the fraternity of nations referred to in Alfred Nobel’s will. As the UN’s largest specialised agency, @WFP is a modern version of the peace congresses that the #NobelPeacePrize is intended to promote” the committee tweeted.
With this year’s Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the WFP, the Norwegian Nobel Committee 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 Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organisation addressing hunger and promoting food security. In 2019, the WFP provided assistance to close to 100 million people in 88 countries who are victims of acute food insecurity and hunger. In 2015, eradicating hunger was adopted as one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The WFP is the UN’s primary instrument for realising this goal. In recent years, the situation has taken a negative turn. In 2019, 135 million people suffered from acute hunger, the highest number in many years. 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. In countries such as Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, South Sudan and Burkina Faso, the combination of violent conflict and the pandemic has led to a dramatic rise in the number of people living on the brink of starvation. In the face of the pandemic, the World Food Programme has demonstrated an impressive ability to intensify its efforts. As the organisation itself has stated, “Until the day we have a medical vaccine, food is the best vaccine against chaos.”
The link between hunger and armed conflict is a vicious circle: war and conflict can cause food insecurity and hunger, just as hunger and food insecurity can cause latent conflicts to flare up and trigger the use of violence. We will never achieve the goal of zero hunger unless we also put an end to war and armed conflict.