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Nobel Peace Prize to World Food Programme Delivering Life-Saving Sustenance to Millions Worldwide

October 9, 2020
Inter Press Service

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 9 2020 (IPS)- With the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize bestowed on the Rome-based World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations and its affiliated agencies continue to hold a monopoly of one of the world’s most prestigious annual awards.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described the WFP as the “world’s first responder on the frontlines of food insecurity.”

In a world of plenty, he pointed out, it is unconscionable that hundreds of millions go to bed each night hungry. Millions more are now on the precipice of famine due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The women and men of the WFP brave danger and distance to deliver life-saving sustenance to those devastated by conflict, to people suffering because of disaster, to children and families uncertain about their next meal,” Guterres declared.

He also singled out David Beasley, WFP Executive Director, and the entire staff of the World Food Programme, for advancing the values of the United Nations every day and serving the cause of “we the peoples” as the Organization marks its 75th anniversary year.

In a video statement on social media, Beasley said: “It’s because of the WFP family: they are out there in the most difficult, complex places in the world, where there’s war, conflict, climate extremes – it doesn’t matter. They are out there and they deserve this award …

“This is the first time I’ve been speechless … This is unbelievable. And Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow!”, an exhilarated Beasley, a former Governor of the US state of South Carolina (1995-1999), said Friday.

Beginning with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (1954 and 1981), the UN recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize also include Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold (1961), the UN children’s agency UNICEF (1965), the International Labour Organization (1969), the UN Peacekeeping Forces (1988), the United Nations & Secretary-General Kofi Annan (2001), the International Atomic Energy Agency (2005), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2007) and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (2013).

The award also went to the predecessor to the United Nations: League of Nations (1938) for its work on aiding refugees, and to Ralph Bunche (1950), Director of the UN Division of Trusteeship, and Acting Mediator in Palestine. […]

Frederic Mousseau, Policy Director at the Oakland Institute, told IPS “this Peace prize is well deserved given the incredible role played by WFP in bringing essential food relief in war situations such as Yemen, Afghanistan, or Somalia, in often highly dangerous and challenging conditions for its staff”.