The World Food Programme has been honoured with a Nobel Peace Prize for feeding millions of people from Yemen to North Korea. The award consists of a gold medal, a diploma and a cheque for 10 million Swedish kronor (950,000 euros, $1.1 million).
“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,” Nobel committee chairwoman Berit Reiss-Andersen said on unveiling the winner in Oslo.
“With this year’s award, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to turn the eyes of the world towards the millions of people who suffer from or face the threat of hunger,” Reiss-Andersen said.
Experts have however warned that despite making progress over the past three decades, the UN’s goal to eradicate hunger by 2030 appears out of reach if current trends continue.
“There’s no two ways about it — we can’t end hunger unless we put an end to conflict,” WFP executive director David Beasley said on September 21.
War can be caused by hunger, but hunger is also a consequence of war, with people living in areas of conflict three times more likely to be undernourished than those living in countries at peace, the WFP says.
In 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,” WFP said.