The World Food Programme won the Nobel Peace Prize 2020 on October 9.

The World Food Programme, a United Nations body, is the world’s largest humanitarian organisation addressing hunger and promoting food security. In 2019, WFP provided assistance to close to 100 million people in 88 countries.

“The World Food Programme has been awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for 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,” Berit Reiss-Andersen, chairwoman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee said while making the announcement from the Nobel Institute in Oslo.

In answer to a question, Ms. Reiss-Andersen said this is a call to the international community not to underfund the WFP and ensure that the people of the world are not starving. She also highlighted the relation between the starving population of the world and the coronavirus pandemic. “The pandemic has increased the need for food aid,” she said.

“Lack of food definitely provides conflict,” she added, in response to a question on how food provides peace.

The Nobel Prize website notes that this year, there were 318 candidates for the Peace Prize, of which 211 are individuals and 107 are organizations. The Norwegian Nobel Committee selects the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates.

The website further noted that “318 is the fourth highest number of candidates ever”. The current record of 376 candidates was reached in 2016, it added.

The Nobel Peace Prize 2019 was awarded to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali “for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea”.

On Monday, the Nobel Committee awarded the prize for physiology and medicine for discovering the liver-ravaging hepatitis C virus. Tuesday’s prize for physics honoured breakthroughs in understanding the mysteries of cosmic black holes, and the chemistry prize on Wednesday went to scientists behind a powerful gene-editing tool.

The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science will be announced on October 12 in Sweden.

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