The 2020 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the world’s largest humanitarian organization that feeds the hungry.
The World Food Program (WFP) won the award “for its efforts to combat hunger and bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas by seeking to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon.”
In 2019, the United Nations’ WFP provided assistance to close to 100 million people in 88 countries who are victims of acute food insecurity and hunger—most of whom suffered because of war and armed conflict.
In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Food Program has demonstrated an impressive ability to intensify its efforts. As the organization itself has stated, “Until the day we have a medical vaccine, food is the best vaccine against chaos.”
The Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to emphasize that providing assistance to increase food security not only prevents hunger, but can also help to improve prospects for stability and peace. The WFP has taken the lead in combining humanitarian work with peace efforts through pioneering projects in South America, Africa, and Asia.
The nonprofit was an active participant in the diplomatic process that culminated in May 2018 in the UN Security Council’s unanimous adoption of Resolution 2417, which for the first time explicitly addressed the link between conflict and hunger and urged Member States to help ensure that food assistance reaches those in need, and condemned the use of starvation as a method of warfare.
With this year’s award, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to “turn the eyes of the world towards… advancing the fraternity of nations referred to in Alfred Nobel’s will. As the UN’s largest specialized agency, the WFP is a modern version of the peace congresses that the Nobel Peace Prize is intended to promote.”
“The work of the World Food Program to the benefit of humankind is an endeavor that all the nations of the world should be able to endorse and support.”