Oct. 9, 2020 -- The United Nations World Food Program on Friday was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace for its efforts to stem hunger around the world.
The agency was praised for its work in vulnerable communities in the Middle East and Africa as it carried out its mission to end hunger in war zones and impoverished nations.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee said the program helped almost 100 million people in 88 countries in 2019, although the committee said 135 million people around the world faced acute hunger in 2019. War and armed conflict are contributing to an increase in need.
David Beasley, former governor of South Carolina, and executive director of the Rome-based World Food Program, called the award “humbling.”
“Every one of the 690 million hungry people in the world today has the right to live peacefully and without hunger,” he said in a statement.
“Where there is conflict, there is hunger,” he said. “And where there is hunger, there is often conflict. Today is a reminder that food security, peace and stability go together. Without peace, we cannot achieve our global goal of zero hunger, and while there is hunger, we will never have a peaceful world.”
The global coronavirus pandemic is further causing pain and death, the committee said, yet 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.’”