The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) on Friday received the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for the work it has done to address hunger around the world amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The need for international solidarity and multilateral cooperation is more conspicuous than ever,” Berit Reiss-Andersen, chairwoman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said at a press conference Friday announcing the award.
“The coronavirus pandemic has contributed to a strong upsurge in the number of victims of hunger in the world,” the Nobel committee explained in its citation, according to Reuters.
“Until the day we have a medical vaccine, food is the best vaccine against chaos,” the committee continued. “There is an estimate within the World Food Programme that … there will be 265 million starving people within a year, so of course this is also a call to the international community not to underfund the World Food Programme.”
The WFP responded by tweeting its thanks for “recognition of the work of WFP staff who put their lives on the line every day to bring food and assistance to more than 100 million hungry children, women and men across the world.”
The organization has said that more than 800 million people currently suffer from chronic hunger, with most living in conflict-stricken areas such as Syria and Yemen.
The award committee also discussed the role of hunger as a weapon of war, appearing to be making reference to the WFP’s criticism of Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who have diverted food aid and prevented access to the WFP and other humanitarian aid organizations.
“It’s one of the oldest conflict weapons in the world, that you can starve out a population to enter a territory,” Reiss-Andersen said. “If you get control over the food, you get also military control and you get better control of civilians. You can also use food insecurity as a method to chase populations away from their territory.”
The award announcement comes after President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign raises over M on day of VP debate Trump chastises Whitmer for calling him ‘complicit’ in extremism associated with kidnapping scheme Trump says he hopes to hold rally Saturday despite recent COVID-19 diagnosis MORE received three nominations for the prize, with the most recent one coming from four Australian law professors last week who cited the president’s role in brokering peace talks between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Trump also received a nomination for the award from a member of the Swedish Parliament and a member of the Norwegian Parliament in September for the Israel-UAE discussions and the president’s decision to withdraw troops from the Middle East.