The World Food Programme receives the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize


This is the twelfth time that a Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to a United Nations agency or personality. The World Food Programme (WFP) was named the 2020 winner of this prestigious award on October 9. 

The United Nations’ food aid agency was rewarded 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,” stated the chair of the Nobel committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, during the prize-giving ceremony organized in Oslo, Norway.

The World Food Programme (WFP) was created in 1961 with the aim of providing food aid to the victims of natural disasters along with refugees or internally displaced people due to conflicts or natural disasters. It is also aimed at the poorest population groups suffering from chronic malnutrition. 

Its headquarters are located in Rome and it is entirely funded by voluntary contributions primarily from member states. It raised 8.3 billion dollars in 2019. The United States is its biggest contributor (3.3 billion dollars).

Actions worldwide

The World Food Programme is active in all areas of the world, especially Africa, the continent where the prevalence of undernourishment is highest, bordering on 20%. It is also present in Latin America and the Caribbean, where hunger affects almost 7% of the population, and in Asia, where 11% of the population are undernourished. In 2019, the UN agency, which employs 17,000 people worldwide (over 87% of whom are based on the ground), distributed 15 billion rations and helped 97 million people in 88 countries.

The Nobel Prize takes the form of a gold medal, a diploma and a sum of 10 million Swedish krona (around 950,000 euros). It will be awarded to the WFP on December 10, the anniversary of the death of its founder, the Swedish manufacturer and philanthropist Alfred Nobel (1833-1896). This year, 318 candidates (211 people and 107 organizations) were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.