World Food Program wins Nobel Peace Prize

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The United Nations food agency, the World Food Program (WFP), won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for its efforts to fight hunger and improve conditions of peace in conflict-affected areas.The Rome-based organization says it helps some 97 million people in around 88 countries each year and that one in nine people worldwide still do not have enough to eat.

“The need for international solidarity and multilateral cooperation is more evident than ever,” President Berit Reiss-Andersen of the Norwegian Nobel Committee told a press conference.

The last time the honor was given to a group was in 2017, when the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) won.

WATCH | Announcement of the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize:

There was no shortage of cases or candidates on this year’s list.

While the Norwegian Nobel Committee maintains absolute secrecy about who it prefers for arguably the most prestigious prize in the world, speculation never stopped before the announcement.

The guesses – and the bets – this year have focused on Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, recovering from a nerve agent attack he attributes to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the ‘World Health Organization for its role in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Even U.S. President Donald Trump seemed to believe he deserved the award, though one of the few predictions experts felt comfortable making was that he would be disappointed.

There were 318 applicants – 211 individuals and 107 organizations. Nominations could be made by a small group, comprising national legislators, heads of state and some international institutions.

The deadline for nominations was February 1, which meant those on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 – which was only declared a pandemic in March – seemed unlikely suitors.

In addition to enormous prestige, the prize comes with a cash award of 10 million crowns (1.5 million Canadian dollars) and a gold medal which will be presented at a ceremony in Oslo, in Norway, December 10, anniversary of the death of the founder of the Alfred Nobel Prize. . This year’s ceremony will be reduced due to the pandemic.

On Monday, the Nobel Committee awarded the Physiology and Medicine Prize for the discovery of the hepatitis C virus that ravages the liver. Tuesday’s physics prize recognized breakthroughs in understanding the mysteries of cosmic black holes, and Wednesday’s chemistry prize went to the scientists behind a powerful gene-editing tool. The literature prize was awarded Thursday to the American poet Louise Glück for her “frank and uncompromising” work.

Still to come next week, the award for outstanding work in the field of economics.

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