Food is the best vaccine against chaos
The UN Food Agency, the World Food Program (WFP, WFP), won the Nobel Peace Prize Friday for its efforts to fight hunger and improve conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said WFP «has demonstrated an impressive ability to step up her efforts».
«The need for international solidarity and multilateral cooperation is more evident than ever», – said at a press conference the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee Berit Reiss-Andersen (Berit Reiss-Andersen).
WFP is a driver in efforts to prevent hunger from being used as a weapon of war and conflict, she said, and the COVID-19 pandemic, which WFP says could double global hunger, has made it even more urgent..
«In countries such as Yemen, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, South Sudan and Burkina Faso, the combination of violent conflict and pandemic has dramatically increased the number of people living on the brink of hunger.», – the message says.
Moreover, WFP itself stated: «Until we have a medical vaccine, food will be the best vaccine against chaos.».
«The World Food Program estimates … 265 million people will go hungry within a year, so of course this is also a call to the international community to fund the World Food Program».
WFP has a logistics service that continues to ship medical supplies to over 120 countries around the world during the coronavirus pandemic to help governments and health partners fight COVID-19. And also provided passenger transportation services to humanitarian and medical workers where commercial flights were not available.
David Beasley (David Beasley), WFP's Executive Director, posted a video on Twitter stating that «for the first time in my life I was speechless … it's incredible». He thanked «WFP family», which works in «the hardest, most challenging places in the world … they deserve this award».
“Food Best Vaccine Against Chaos”: Nobel Peace For World Food Programme
In a written statement, he added: «Today is a reminder that food security, peace and stability go hand in hand. Without peace, we cannot achieve our global goal of zero hunger; and as long as there is hunger, we will never have peace on the planet».
WFP Representative in Geneva Thomson Phiri (Tomson Phiri) told reporters:
«Everything was stopped due to national and global restrictions after COVID-19. The WFP got down to business, we were able to connect the communities. At one point, we were the largest airline in the world when most, if not all, commercial airlines were forced to shut down.».
Dan Smith (Dan Smith), director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, said the Norwegian Nobel Committee wanted to deliver a message of both hope and «support international cooperation».
«Hunger, like climate change, pandemic and other problems, is a global problem that can only be solved through cooperation. The World Food Program is an institution for global cooperation», – he told Reuters.
«Unfortunately, in many circles, especially among the great powers, there is a decrease in the appetite for cooperation.», – he said, adding that world hunger is on the rise again, having declined in decades to 2016.
The World Health Organization has been named a nominee for the Leadership Award in Global Responses to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg (Greta Thunberg) was also among the favorites to win for her campaign to draw attention to the climate crisis.
Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern (Jacinda Ardern) was again on the list of contenders, gaining recognition earlier in the pandemic for effectively containing coronavirus infections and deaths in her country.
The Peace Prize this year was 101st. According to the Nobel Institute, 318 candidates have nominated for the prize this year. In 2016, a record number of nominees was presented – 376. However, the list of nominees is disclosed only 50 years after the award was awarded.
Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed (Abiy Ahmed) won an award in 2019 for his efforts to achieve peace with neighboring Eritrea.