Addis Ababa October 9/2020 (ENA) The Nobel Peace Prize 2020 was awarded to World Food Program (WFP) “for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas”.
In its press release, the Norwegian Nobel Committee stated that the need for international solidarity and multilateral cooperation is more conspicuous than ever.
In 2019, the WFP provided assistance to close to 100 million people in 88 countries who are victims of acute food insecurity and hunger, it added.
Eradicating hunger was adopted as one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, it said, and pointed out “the WFP is the UN’s primary instrument for realizing this goal”.
However, in recent years, the situation has taken a negative turn whereby 135 million people suffered from acute hunger in 2019, the highest number in many years. Most of the increase was caused by war and armed conflict.
WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security.
The coronavirus pandemic has contributed to a strong upsurge in the number of victims of hunger in the world.
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, WFP has demonstrated an impressive ability to intensify its efforts, it said, and noted “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 emphasized that the world is in danger of experiencing a hunger crisis of inconceivable proportions if the World Food Program and other food assistance organizations do not receive the financial support they have requested.
Mentioning hunger and food insecurity can cause latent conflicts to flare up and trigger the use of violence, the release pointed out “we will never achieve the goal of zero hunger unless we also put an end to war and armed conflict.”
The Norwegian Nobel Committee highlighted that providing assistance to increase food security not only prevents hunger, but can also help to improve prospects for stability and peace.
“The World Food Program has taken the lead in combining humanitarian work with peace efforts through pioneering projects in South America, Africa and Asia,” it was indicated.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee called upon the world to turn eyes towards the millions of people who suffer from or face the threat of hunger.
The World Food Program plays a key role in multilateral cooperation on making food security an instrument of peace, and has made a strong contribution towards mobilizing UN Member States to combat the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict, it appreciated.
It is to be recalled that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was awarded the2019 Nobel Peace Laureate for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighboring Eritrea.