Nobel Peace Prize 2020
Why in news?
The Nobel Peace Prize 2020 was awarded to the United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP).
What is the Nobel Peace Prize?
- The Nobel Prizes would be dedicated to the person who shall have done the most or the best work
- For fraternity between nations,
- For the abolition or reduction of standing armies and
- For the holding and promotion of peace congresses.
- The Nobel Peace Prizes have been awarded since 1901.
- It was not awarded on 19 occasions including 1914-1916, 1918, 1939-1943 among some other years.
- Overall, the prize has been awarded to 135 laureates, including 107 individuals and 28 organisations.
What is the UN WFP?
- The WFP was established in 1961 at the behest of the US president Dwight Eisenhower.
- It is the world’s largest humanitarian organisation committed towards its global goal of ending hunger by the year 2030.
- In 1960, Eisenhower proposed to the UN General Assembly that a scheme should be devised for providing food aid through the UN system.
- In 2015, eradication of world hunger became one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- The WFP is the UN’s primary instrument in achieving that goal.
- WFP runs entirely on public donations and its donors include governments, corporations and individuals.
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Why did it win the prize?
- WFP was awarded the prize for its efforts to combat hunger and for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas.
- It was given the award for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.
How does WFP help people?
- It provides food assistance in two ways, either by way of providing food or by meeting people’s food-needs by providing cash-based transfers.
- The cash-based transfers were launched for the first time in 2005 in response to the tsunami in Sri Lanka.
- In 2019, WFP provided assistance to close to 100 million people spread across 88 countries by supplying them with food, cash and vouchers.
- In 1962, the WFP undertook its first emergency operation after an earthquake in Iran killed over 12,000 people.
- In 1963, it launched its first development programme in Sudan.
- In 1989, WFP staged the largest humanitarian airdrop in history when it launched “Operation Lifeline Sudan” to provide assistance to people affected by the civil war.
- More recently, it has provided food aid to the victims of the earthquake in Nepal in 2015.
How does WFP measure hunger?
- It estimates hunger by the prevalence of undernourishment.
- The UN defines undernourished people as those individuals whose food intake falls below the minimum level of dietary energy requirements.
- These dietary energy requirements are set by sex and age groups in consultation between the FAO, UN and WHO.
- According to current estimates, about 8.9% of the world’s population or about 690 million people are hungry.
- As per the WFP, if the current trends continue, by 2030 there will be 840 million hungry people.
- Further, about 135 million suffer from acute hunger mainly as a result of man-made conflicts, climate change and economic downturns.
- WFP estimates that the pandemic could possibly double that figure.
Does WFP work in India?
- Yes, WFP has been working in India since 1963.
- It has transitioned from food distribution to providing technical assistance as India became self-sufficient in cereal production.
- One-fourth of the world’s undernourished population is in India.
- About 21% of the population live on less than $1.90 a day.
- Now, WFP is working to improve the government’s targeted public distribution system to ensure that food reaches those that need it the most.
- It is also working with the government to improve the nutritional value of the Midday Meal programme.
- It is using its own software called the Vulnerability and Analysis Mapping to identify the most food insecure groups in the country.