UN World Food Programme awarded 2020 Nobel Peace Prize

UN World Food Programme awarded 2020 Nobel Peace Prize

The Norwegian Nobel Committee said the WFP had acted "as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict".

The organization has always been headed by an American, and United States President Donald Trump nominated the former Republican governor of SC for the post in 2017.

The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the global food crisis.

In April, Beasley raised the alarm, saying: "We could be facing multiple famines of biblical proportions within a short few months".

It provided assistance to nearly 100 million people in 88 countries a year ago. "They're out there in the most hard, complex places in the world, where there's war, conflict, climate extremes".

WFP has consistently blamed climate change for fueling hunger and wreaking havoc on crops. "And where there is hunger, there is often conflict", he said.

The UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) call for these objectives to be achieved by 2030. And some of the world's most high-profile leaders have downplayed the pandemic, including Trump, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. When it did hit, millions of people lost their jobs and sources of income. Rival armed groups divert food aid to front-line combatants or sell it for profit on the black market. When much of the world's air traffic ceased amid the pandemic, the WFP chartered numerous transport planes to deliver food supplies, at times making it the biggest airline in operation.

The Houthi-run health ministry criticized the agency on the occasion of its Nobel Prize, with spokesman Youssef al-Hadhari telling The Associated Press that its aid "fails to solve the root problems that we suffer from", including the "siege" by the Saudi-led coalition. Funding and support must continue to flow from the world's most privileged to those in most desperate need.

In Bangladesh, hit this year by floods that covered a quarter of the country, early warning systems provided four-day notice of the coming deluge, WFP's Laganda said.

Gernot Laganda, Chief / Climate and Disaster Risk Reduction Programmes at WFP told IPS: "As WFP staff, we are humbled and moved by this honor".

Its executive director traditionally comes from the United States.

The WFP, which was created in 1961 at the behest of American President Dwight Eisenhower as an experiment to provide food aid via the United Nations, hasn't been immune to criticism. Since 1992, it has been headed exclusively by U.S. directors.

"It's a call to action to not let anyone die from starvation, it's a call to action that we've got to save and help our friends, our brothers, our sisters around the world", he said.

"With this award, we wish to turn the world's eyes to the millions of people who face hunger and food poverty", Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the committee, announced in Oslo.

"In so far as certain names crop up in the advance speculations as to who will be awarded any given year's prize, this is either sheer guesswork or information put out by the person or persons behind the nomination", the committee said on its website.

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