The World Food Program of the United Nations has been awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to combat global starvation during the pandemic.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee cited the program’s work as a part of peace efforts in Africa, Asia and South America, noting that food security is more important and elusive than ever during the COVID crisis.
“Until the day we have a medical vaccine, food is the best vaccine against chaos,” said Berit Reiss-Andersen, the Nobel committee chair.
The prize citation noted the World Food Program’s impact in situations such as the civil war in Syria; the nearly six-year war between Saudi and Iranian proxies in Yemen; conflicts in South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo, and bad harvests elsewhere in Africa.
The Nobel committee also lamented the loss of prestige and influence by the UN and international organizations generally: “Multilateralism seems to have a lack of respect these days,” Reiss-Andersen said. This tendency has accelerated during the Trump administration, although the United States continues to be the largest single contributor to the World Food Program, furnishing 43% of its budget.