The latest Nobel Peace Prize winner, the World Food Program (WFP), has been helping the world’s poorest for almost 60 years, an effort that has been particularly important during the corona crisis.
The UN’s organization, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, helps almost 100 million people in more than 80 countries worldwide every year.
It is often a matter of pure emergency aid, but the work is often about strengthening food security and resilience in societies that are hard hit by poverty and conflict.
Every day, 5,600 trucks, 30 ships, and almost 100 aircraft deliver food and other emergency aid to people who face war and crisis.
In total, that amounts to 15 billion portions of food from WFP.
Where does the WFP operate?
Two thirds of the areas where WFP contributes aid are ravaged by war and conflict.
The probability of people in these areas to suffer from food shortages is three times higher than in countries where there is peace.
Since its inception in 1961, at the initiative of then-US President Dwight Eisenhower, the organization has been helping the vulnerable.
In the 1980s, the organization provided emergency aid in connection with the famine in Ethiopia.
Later, emergency aid was supplied during the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, the tsunami in Southeast Asia in 2004, and Haiti’s earthquake in 2010.
Last year, WFP delivered food to almost seven million people in Congo, while its largest operation is currently taking place in Yemen.
A total of 13 million in the Middle East’s poorest country, which is also ravaged by war, depends on the organization’s help every month.
The World Food Program received the Peace Prize for its efforts in the fight against hunger, its contribution to creating the conditions for peace in conflict-prone areas, and being a driving force in the work against the use of hunger as a weapon in war and conflict.
Important work during the pandemic
The corona crisis has led to more and more people in the world suffering from food shortages.
Millions of people have had their income torn away, and food has become both more expensive and less accessible.
In Latin America, the situation is extremely serious.
The spread of infection has been great, and the restrictions in many places very extensive and long-lasting.
The need for food aid in the region has tripled as a result of the corona pandemic.
The organization’s work has been made more difficult during the pandemic due to the corona measures.
Borders have been closed, flights have been canceled, and roads and railways have restricted traffic.
In areas where WFP has not been able to deliver emergency aid through normal connections, the organization has provided food using helicopters, elephants, and camels.
This year’s Peace Prize was announced during a ceremony at the Nobel Institute in Oslo on Friday morning.
With this year’s Peace Prize, the Nobel Committee wants to emphasize that increasing food security can contribute to improving the prospects for peace.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today