The 2020 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Friday for its effort to combat hunger worldwide and to improve conditions of peace in conflict affected areas.
The chair of the Nobel Committee Berit Reiss-Andersen made the announcement in Oslo, stating that WFP has acted as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.
Founded in 1961, The World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger. In 2019, it provided assistance to close to 100 million people, distributing 15 billion rations in 88 countries.
In this year’s list there were 318 candidates- 107 organizations and 211 individuals. The World Health Organization and climate activist Greta Thunberg were also amongst the candidates.
The WFP, the 101st winner of a prize will be awarded with a 10-milion krona ($1.1 million) cash prize and a gold medal at a ceremony on December 10, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel’s death. The virus will also affect the ceremony in Oslo, Norway which has been scaled back due to corona restrictions.
The Nobel Committee said that the coronavirus pandemic has contributed to a strong upsurge in the number of victims of hunger around the world and called on governments to ensure that such organizations receive the financial support necessary to feed them. In such hard times WFP has demonstrated an impressive ability to intensify its efforts.
Earlier this year, the WFP warned that the world was at risk of multiple famines of biblical proportions as an aftermath of the pandemic. The global recession due to coronavirus pandemic has pushed an additional 83 to 132 million people into hunger, the UN stated in a report published July.