The World Food Program (WFP) saw its work today recognized by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, being awarded the peace prize, “for its efforts to fight hunger, for its contribution to improving 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 “.
In 2019, the program, linked to the United Nations, assisted around 100 million people in 88 countries. The Nobel Committee points out that the pandemic has increased the need for food aid. “Food is less available to some populations because of the virus,” said committee chairman Berit Reiss-Andersen in Oslo.
The list of candidates for the 2020 edition of the Nobel Peace Prize had 211 people and 107 organizations and the laureate will receive a prize of SEK 10 million (almost one million euros), as well as a diploma and a medal.
Among the names nominated for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize were, for example, the president of the United States, Donald Trump, or environmental activist Greta Thunberg. The World Health Organization was also indicated as a likely winner, due to its role in the recent pandemic of the covid-19.
This is the 101st Nobel Peace Prize to be awarded. In the 100 prizes awarded between 1901 and 2019, 24 went to institutions and only 17 were given to women. The award ceremony will take place on December 10, in Oslo, Norway, and will be attended by only about 100 guests.
In September, the head of the UN’s World Food Program warned that millions of people could be hit by hunger due to the combination of armed conflicts, climate change and the covid-19 pandemic. David Beasley of the World Food Program recalled to the United Nations Security Council that in April he warned of the possibility of “a hunger pandemic” and called on donor nations and multimillionaires to help provide means that can guarantee survival of people at risk.
WFP and UN agency partners “are doing everything” to help 138 million people directly affected by hunger this year. “It is the largest number in our history,” he said.
Beasley said it takes more to save 270 million people who are “getting closer and closer” to famine. “At the moment, 30 million depend on WFP aid and will not be able to survive without this aid,” he warned, specifying that the situation has already reached “three dozen countries” and may become more profound in regions where armed conflicts are taking place.
In particular, Beasley, referred to “Congo where violence has increased, reaching 15.5 million people” who are seriously affected by the lack of food. The same circumstance exists in Yemen, which faces the greatest humanitarian catastrophe ever; Nigeria and South Sudan where millions of people “lack food security” because of the covid-19 pandemic.
The official said that WFP needs $ 4.9 billion (about 4.13 billion euros) to feed 30 million people who are at risk of life if they do not receive emergency aid this year. “The time has come for those who have more to come forward and help those who have nothing, at least in this extraordinary period of world history,” said Beasley.
“There are more than two thousand billionaires worldwide,” added David Beasley, former governor of the US state of South Carolina, stressing that many fortunes in the United States “are making millions. [de dólares]”during the pandemic.” I am not opposed to making money but humanity is facing the biggest crisis ever, “he lamented.