Chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, made the announcement, adding that the selection for the WFP was “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.”
On a call with the Oslo-based centre, WFP executive director David Beasley said he was “overwhelmed” and “speechless” by the selection, adding: “What the committee has done today is give recognition to the fact that we can’t forget about the poor, the needy, the vulnerable that are suffering around the world.”
The UN agency initially started out as an experiment by 34th US president Dwight D. "Ike" Eisenhower to provide food aid through the UN, and it has grown significantly since. Last year alone, it provided help to nearly 100m people in 88 countries.
WFP estimates that in light of the covid-19 pandemic, some 265m individuals could face acute food insecurity this year—a near doubling compared to a total 135m individuals facing the same in 2019.