The 2020 Nobel Peace Prize has officially been awarded to the World Food Programme for its work providing food for hungry people around the world, particularly during the pandemic, and for laying a foundation for peace between warring nations.
According to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, the global COVID-19 pandemic has “contributed to a strong upsurge in the number of victims of hunger in the world.” Between the pandemic and increased conflict in certain nations, the number of people experiencing life-threatening food insecurity was expected to double this year to about 265 million people.
The World Food Programme, a United Nations agency and the largest humanitarian nation in the world that addresses international issues of food insecurity, has stepped up to meet that need. Last year, the organization assisted nearly 100 million people in 88 countries. This year, it’s helping even more people and focusing its efforts on war-torn areas such as Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, South Sudan, and Burkina Faso, in order to prevent hunger from becoming a weapon of war.
“In the face of the pandemic, the World Food Programme has demonstrated an impressive ability to intensify its efforts,” Berit Reiss-Andersen, the chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said as she announced the prize in Oslo. “The combination of violent conflict and the pandemic has led to a dramatic rise in the number of people living on the brink of starvation.”
In 2015, eradicating hunger became one of the UN’s official Sustainable Development Goals. Since then, the World Food Programme has been the primary organization helping the UN achieve this goal.
“Until the day we have a medical vaccine, food is the best vaccine against chaos,” the World Food Programme itself has stated.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee believes the mission of the World Food Programme is one that all nations should be able to get behind. It emphasizes that providing food to the hungry not only improves food stability but also improves overall stability and peace. The World Food Programme’s humanitarian efforts have greatly improved the quality of life for people in South America, Africa, and Asia.
By awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to the World Food Programme, the Norwegian Nobel Committee hopes to open more eyes to the issue of hunger in our world. Millions suffer from hunger and food insecurity every day, but the World Food Programme is making huge strides toward keeping warring parties from using hunger as a weapon of conflict, as well as toward “advancing the fraternity of nations,” a topic which Alfred Nobel referenced in his will.
If you’ve been a longtime reader or donor at The Hunger Site and GreaterGood.com, you may recall that the World Food Programme was one of our original charity partners starting in 1999.
GreaterGood has since transitioned to partnering with U.S.-based charities where we’re able to do the most good, but we continue to support the World Food Programme in a variety of ways. In recent years, we’ve created petitions arguing for better government funding for the World Food Programme. We’ve also raised funds that were earmarked for the World Food Programme in response to specific famines and natural disasters.
“The work of the WFP is very deserving of the Nobel Prize for Peace, since increased food insecurity and famine is one of the strongest correlates of war, and many of the countries most impacted by conflict suffer chronic food shortages (like Yemen),” says Tim Kunin, CEO of GreaterGood.
The World Food Programme certainly deserves this prestigious award for its work combatting hunger around the globe. We at GreaterGood are proud to have had the opportunity to support the World Food Programme and to share in its mission to decrease food instability for all people.
GreaterGood works hard to source products from conflict zones and refugee camps, which helps war-ravaged societies and economies rebuild. We also go to great lengths to obtain fair-trade products from landlocked countries such as Afghanistan, Armenia, Bolivia, and Uganda, where food insecurity is an even bigger problem.
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?