The 2020 Nobel Peace Prize went to the United Nations World Food Program

The 2020 Nobel Peace Prize went to the United Nations World Food Program

The UN agency that deals with food assistance has won the Nobel Peace Prize for its fundamental role in fighting hunger in the world, more essential than ever in times of pandemic

(photo: TARIQ MAHMOOD / AFP via Getty Images) On Friday 9 October, the World Food Program (Wfp) of the United Nations Organization (UN) won the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize. This was announced by the chairman of the committee for the prestigious Norwegian prize Berit Reiss-Andersen at the Nobel Institute in Oslo, where the restrictions for Covid-19 have narrowed the crowd of journalists and forced the committee to meet in small ranks.

The WFP is the UN food assistance agency and the largest humanitarian organization in the world - with an average of 86.7 million people assisted in some 83 countries each year. The award wants to be an appeal to the international community to adequately finance the WFP: in the words of Reiss-Andersen, even if the agency would have been a worthy recipient of the Nobel in any case, the Covid-19 pandemic has strengthened the reasons behind assignment to the WFP, given the need for "multilateralism" in a time of global crisis. The Nobel Committee wanted to "turn the eyes of the world to the millions of people who suffer or face the threat of hunger", a condition often used as a "weapon of war and conflict".

The other candidates

For the Nobel Peace Prize this year, 318 candidates were considered, divided into 211 individuals and 107 organizations. Key figures in contention included 17-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, Russian dissident and opposition leader Alexei Navalny - recovering from nerve-agent poisoning that Russian President Vladimir Putin blames - and the Organization. World Health Organization (WHO) for its role in the coronavirus pandemic.

Don't forget, for the future: the White House announced last September that President Donald Trump has been nominated for the 2021 Nobel Prize, for his mediating role in an agreement that saw the Emirates United Arabs and Bahrain normalize relations with Israel. He was named by a Norwegian far-right politician, Christian Tybring-Gjedde. Nominations can in fact be submitted by a select group, including national legislators, heads of state and some international institutions.

The prize up for grabs

In addition to the enormous prestige, the Nobel is also joined by a cash prize of 10 million Norwegian crowns (just under 850 thousand euros) and a medal of gold that will be delivered to the WPF during a ceremony in Oslo on 10 December, the anniversary of the death of the founder Alfred Nobel. Due to Covid-19, the event this year will take place in a reduced form.

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