U.N.’s World Food Program wins Nobel Peace Prize
The United Nations’ World Food Program on Friday won the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to combat hunger and food insecurity around the globe.
The announcement was made in Oslo by Berit Reiss-Andersen, the chair of the Nobel Committee.
The committee said the coronavirus pandemic has added to the hunger faced by millions of people around the world and called on governments to ensure that WFP and other aid organizations receive the financial support necessary to feed them.
“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,” said Reiss-Andersen. “The World Food Program plays a key role in multilateral cooperation in making food security an instrument of peace.”
“The World Food Program contributes daily to advancing the fraternity of nations mentioned in Alfred Nobel’s will,” she said.
The Rome-based program was quick to tweet that, “This is a powerful reminder to the world that peace and #ZeroHunger go hand-in-hand.”
“I think this is the first time in my life I’ve been without words,” WFP’s head David Beasley told The Associated Press from Niger. “I was just so shocked and surprised.” In an interview with CBSN Friday, he called it an “honor and a blessing.”
Beasley said he found out about the award from a WFP media officer who’d just been informed by the AP.
U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres congratulated the food agency, calling it “the world’s first responder on the frontlines of food insecurity.”
“In a world of plenty, it is unconscionable that hundreds of millions go to bed each night hungry,” Guterres said.
The food program provided assistance to almost 100 million people in 88 countries around the world last year.