OSLO (AFP) – The Nobel Peace Prize was Friday awarded to the World Food Programme for feeding millions of people from Yemen to North Korea, with the coronavirus pandemic seen pushing millions more into hunger.
The WFP was honoured 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,” Nobel committee chairman Berit Reiss-Andersen said on unveiling the winner in Oslo.
Whether delivering food by helicopter or on the back of an elephant or a camel, the WFP prides itself on being “the leading humanitarian organisation” in a world where, by its own estimates, some 690 million people – one in 11 – go to bed on an empty stomach.
“With this year’s award, 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,” Ms Reiss-Andersen said.
Founded in 1961, the UN organisation helped 97 million people last year, distributing 15 billion rations to people in 88 countries last year. The numbers are dizzying but only a fraction of the total number in need.