The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced on Friday that it has decided to award the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize to the World Food Programme (WFP) for its “efforts to combat hunger” and its “contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas.”
In 2019 alone, the WFP provided assistance to close to 100 million people in 88 countries who are victims of acute food insecurity and hunger, the Nobel Committee said in a statement.
The committee highlighted that providing assistance to increase food security goes beyond than just ending hunger, but also contributes to promoting stability and peace, adding that “the world is in danger of experiencing a hunger crisis of inconceivable proportions if the World Food Programme and other food assistance organisations do not receive the financial support they have requested.”
In a tweet, WFP said that it “is deeply humbled to receive the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize. This is in recognition of the work of WFP staff who put their lives on the line every day to bring food and assistance to more than 100 million hungry children, women and men across the world.”
“The Nobel Peace Prize is not WFP’s alone. We work closely with government, organizations, and private sector partners whose passion for helping the hungry and vulnerable equals ours. We could not possibly help anyone without them,” WFP director, David Beasley, said.
— Rania A. Al Mashat (@RaniaAlMashat) October 9, 2020
Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, Dr. Rania Al Mashat, congratulated the World Food Progamme for being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2020 and its efforts to contribute to Egypt’s sustainable development.
“This year’s award carries particular significance in a period dominated by the importance of cooperation and collectivism for the purpose of serving the people,” Al Mashat said.
How WFP in Egypt is Transforming Lives
#Egypt: Beyond food, there’s hope. 💛🌻
Food is powerful. It builds peace, promotes stability and brings opportunity. Above all, it paves the way to a brighter future.
— World Food Programme (@WFP) September 21, 2020
The WFP has been working in cooperation with Egypt since 1968 to respond to humanitarian needs, empower communities and tackle the underlying causes of food insecurity and malnutrition in the country.
Currently, the WFP’s Egypt country strategic plan for the period 2018–2023 expands this partnership and builds on lessons learned from past, aiming to transition the lives of millions of Egyptians through strengthening the capacity and resilience of farmers, empowering women and responding to humanitarian needs, including those of refugees and migrants.
In a photo essay, Egyptian Streets documented the visit by Ministries of International Cooperation and Agriculture with the WFP to inspect a number of development projects in the governorates of Luxor and Qena which aims to develop rural communities in Upper Egypt and transfer this experience to other African countries.
“We are proud to have been a strong partner of the Government of Egypt in implementing programmes that are aligned with the Country’s 2030 Vision. As a result of this solid collaboration, we are able to scale up successful integrated development models to assist more communities in need, especially at such difficult times resulting from the COVID-19 crisis where more and more people are becoming vulnerable,” WFP Representative and Country Director in Egypt, Menghestab Haile, said.
The projects contribute to building the capacity of one million small farmers through 2023 by introducing modern agricultural and irrigation systems, providing in-kind loans to women and mothers in particular to promote women’s empowerment, and transform communities through the renovation of community schools to smart schools to combat child labor and poverty.
So far, the projects have reached 280,000 small farmers in 64 villages in Luxor, as well as four other governorates in Upper Egypt. It also helped build entrepreneurial capacities of 102,000 women, of which more than 33,000 received micro-loans to start their own businesses.
Farmers in Luxor noted that modern farming technologies helped increase their crop yield by about 25%, as did their revenues, as costs went down by 15%.
“These current projects are changing our mindsets and are opening us doors to the world. It implanted inside all of us a new kind of affection and love for the land of Luxor,” Khaled Mohamed, one of the beneficiaries in El Boghdadi village, told Egyptian Streets.