2020 Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to the World Food Programme (WFP)
2020 Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to the World Food Programme (WFP). Source: Twitter/The Nobel Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize 2020 was awarded to World Food Programme (WFP) “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.”
The World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organisation addressing hunger and promoting food security. In 2019, the WFP provided assistance to close to 100 million people in 88 countries who are victims of acute food insecurity and hunger. In 2015, eradicating hunger was adopted as one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The WFP is the UN’s primary instrument for realising this goal. In recent years, the situation has taken a negative turn. In 2019, 135 million people suffered from acute hunger, the highest number in many years. Most of the increase was caused by war and armed conflict. In countries such as Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, South Sudan and Burkina Faso, 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 the face of the pandemic, the World Food Programme has demonstrated an impressive ability to intensify its efforts. As the organisation itself has stated, “Until the day we have a medical vaccine, food is the best vaccine against chaos.”
The agency also observes the link between hunger and armed conflict is a vicious circle: war and conflict can cause food insecurity and hunger, just as hunger and food insecurity can cause latent conflicts to flare up and trigger the use of violence. We will never achieve the goal of zero hunger unless we also put an end to war and armed conflict.
The prestigious award comes with a gold medal and prize money of 10 million krona (more than $1.1 million), courtesy of a bequest left more than a century ago by the prize’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel. The amount was increased recently to adjust for inflation.
The recipient was announced by Norwegian Nobel Committee, on 9 October 2020.
On Monday, the Nobel Committee awarded the prize for physiology and medicine to Harvey J. Alter and Charles M. Rice and Michael Houghton for discovering the liver-ravaging hepatitis C virus.
Nobel prize for physics went to Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez for their breakthroughs in understanding the mysteries of cosmic black holes.
The 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to French scientist Emmanuelle Charpentier and American scientist Jennifer A. Doudna “for the development of a method for genome editing.”
On 8th October, the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded to the American poet Louise Glück “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.”