• Project H.E.L.P

World Food Programme Wins Nobel Peace Prize, History of WFP


WFP in Africa providing assistance. Image from REUTERS
WFP in Africa providing assistance. Image from REUTERS

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) was awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize, for its assistance in saving millions of lives across the world. The agency is known for its efforts to mitigate hunger and making the conditions better and peaceful for conflict-affected areas. WFP has contributed immensely in helping the vulnerable and COVID hit areas. The announcement was made by Berit Reiss-Anderson, who is the chair of the Norwegian Nobel community. Last year itself, WFP assisted over 97 million people in 88 countries.


WFP has been assisting during emergency, relief, and rehabilitation. Data shows that two-thirds of the work done by WFP was in the areas where the population is undernourished and are living in severe food insecurity and crisis.


Covid-19 Worsened Food Insecurity

Berit Reiss-Anderson, Chairman of Nobel Committee making the announcement
Berit Reiss-Anderson making the announcement

The Nobel committee chair highlighted that the coronavirus pandemic has worsened the conditions of food insecurity. 265 million people will be starving by the end of 2020. The Nobel committee also highlighted that there is a need for a resilient and sustainable solution to help all The starving communities.


The highlighted the efforts made by the world food program that helped millions of people from falling into food insecurity this year, especially in areas like Yemen, Syria, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.


UN secretary-general, Antonio Guterres said that WFP is the world's first responder when it comes to food insecurity. He congratulated the agency for this achievement and said that men and women of WFP take risks of their own life and deliver life-saving assistance which is needed by the devastated communities. he also highlighted the fact that millions of people are going hungry around The World due to the pandemic which is going to get worse.


He also highlighted the need for an International corporation if they want millions of hungry people to survive. Local governments need to go beyond politics and provide humanitarian assistance to those who need it. He also pointed out the fact that climate change is happening and things will get worse.


A Humbling And Moving Recognition

WFP Executive Secretary David Beasley after the announcement said that every single person has the right to live peacefully and without hunger. He also added that the climate change and economic pressure has compounded their problems. Mr. Beasley said the Nobel peace prize was not of WFP alone, but of the entire UN agency which worked closely with local governments, organizations, and private partners, who were passionate enough to feed the hungry and vulnerable, and consider them equal to us. The WFP was established in 1961 and its headquarter is in Rome.


The President of the General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir, also extended is a congratulation to WFP, recognizing its contribution as a critical pillar of a multilateral system. He added the fact that in addition to supplying food, WFP has also been providing humanitarian staff and supply. WFP's sister agency, Food and Agricultural Development (FAO) said that the award was much deserved.


WFP has assisted in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, during the floods in South Sudan, and during the civil war in Yemen and several natural disasters. Though the pandemic has only worsened the situation, the greatest threat to food security remains was and armed conflicts. The local population living in conflict-affected areas is thrice more likely two starve.


Last month, David Beasley said that 138 million people are reached every year and the number is going to increase by the end of 2020. Find the article in the link here- https://www.projecthelpngo.org/post/global-hunger-crisis-worsened-by-coronavirus


History of WFP

The World Food Programme, which was set up in 1961, was initially established as a three-year experiment. In the first few years, the agency dealt with natural as well as man-made disasters, such as the earthquake in Iraq in 1962, which killed more than 12000 people. Typhoon in Thailand which killed 900 people. It also helped the newly independent Algeria, which was struggling post-war to feed the refugees and its population.


Rehabilitation was also provided by the agency. After the first three years passed, it was very well clear that it has proven its worth in the experiment and main now become a fully-fledged UN agency.


WFP today is extremely critical. dependent make has caused severe hunger and starvation to millions and millions of vulnerable people, and millions more were affected by conflicts. Hence, it is clear that the Nobel peace prize was well deserved, and many more achievements are expected.


You can visit their website here https://www.wfp.org/ and donate to feed the hungry.


Author: Subhasri Banerjee

Data and Statistics: UN

Subscribe below to receive weekly newsletters.

Recent Posts

See All