Know the astounding works of Nobel Peace Prize winner
The Nobel Peace Prize for 2020 has been conferred on the UN agency World Food Programme (WFP) for its efforts to combat hunger and for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for preventing the use of hunger being weaponised in war and conflict.
So what is WFP and what does it do?
The WFP is only the 28th organisation awarded the Nobel Peace Prize since its inception in 1901. It was established after World War II at the behest of the then US President Dwight Eisenhower. Eisenhower had suggested the idea of providing food aid through the UN system in 1960.
Months after it was set up, the WFP faced a humanitarian crisis
The first test of the WFP came when more than 12,000 people died in an earthquake in Iran’s Boein Zahra. The WFP sent tonnes of wheat, sugar and tea. It also played an important role in providing food aid in Thailand and Algeria.
The world agency
It launched its first development programme in 1963 for Nubians in Sudan. In the same year, the WFP’s first school meals project – in Togo – was approved. Two years later, WFP became a full-fledged UN programme. It has worked for post-war South Korea, Cambodia and Rwanda among other nations. Even now, it’s working for the refugees of Syria and serving the people of war-torn countries.
In 2019, it assisted 97 million people – the largest number since 2012 – in 88 countries. On any given day, WFP has 5,600 trucks, 30 ships and nearly 100 planes on the move, delivering food and other assistance to those in most need, it says.
The WFP has been working in India since 1963. Apart from focusing on reforms in the Targeted Public Distribution System, it provides policy inputs, advocacy and technical assistance for improving access to food. The WFP has proposed some unique initiatives like Automatic Grain Dispensing Machine (Annapurti) and Mobile Storage Units for the effective implementation of TPDS. It has also been working with several state governments on many pilot projects.
The WFP is headquartered in Rome, Italy. It is the world’s largest humanitarian organisation and is committed towards its global goal of ending hunger by the year 2030.
Did you know?
The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to 135 laureates, including 107 individuals and 28 organisations. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has been awarded the prize twice. So far, the youngest laureate is Malala Yousafzai, who was 17 years old when she won in 2014 and the oldest recipient was Joseph Rotblat who was given the award at the age of 87 in 1995.