Media Outlets Examine WFP’s Work Following Nobel Peace Prize Win; Some Experts Question Award Choice

AP: WFP chief seeks million from donors, billionaires for food
“…[World Food Programme Executive Director David] Beasley, who got COVID-19 in April, has spent the months since he recovered reaching out to world leaders and visiting stricken countries with a new warning that he delivered to the U.N. Security Council last month: millions of people are closer to starvation because of the deadly combination of conflict, climate change, and the coronavirus pandemic. … Beasley urged donors, including governments and institutions, to help, and he made a special appeal to the more than 2,000 billionaires in the world, with a combined net worth of $8 trillion, to open their bank accounts. The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday to the U.N. food agency is a tribute not only to its work in the even greater humanitarian crisis than Beasley envisioned in this COVID-ravaged year, but as the Nobel committee made clear it is a plea for unity and multilateral cooperation to tackle global challenges as WFP has done in a world facing increasing nationalism and populism…” (Lederer, 10/10).

AP: WFP chief: Nobel Prize message to world not to forget Sahel
“The head of the World Food Program said winning the Nobel Peace Prize while he was visiting the impoverished and war-weakened Sahel was a message to the world that it should not forget the region. … ‘The fact that I was in the Sahel when we received the [Nobel Peace Prize] announcement is really a message from above that, hey world with all the things going on around the world today please don’t forget about the people in the Sahel!’ said [WFP Executive Director David Beasley]…” (Mednick, 10/9).

Devex: WFP wins Nobel Prize but some question the choice
“…While many humanitarian organizations and other U.N. agencies celebrated WFP’s win, some critics say that while the work WFP does is valuable, awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to a U.N. organization does not make sense even at a time when multilateralism has been increasingly challenged…” (Welsh, 10/9).

U.N. News: The World Food Programme: a three-year experiment that became indispensable
“Today, the WFP is needed more than ever. Armed conflicts continue to ravage the globe, and drive millions into poverty. This year, some 20 million people in South Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, and northern Nigeria are living on the brink of famine. Conflict is the main driver, alongside drought. … Responding to the Peace Prize win in a video message recorded on Friday, the U.N. Secretary-General, António Guterres, praised the WFP as the world’s ‘first responder on the frontlines of food insecurity’…” (10/9).

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