ANGLICAN officials have welcomed the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).
The Nobel committee, who announced the award on Friday, described the WFP as “a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict”.
The prize, £873,000, will be awarded to the programme, which was chosen over 107 organisations and 211 individuals who had been nominated, among them the World Health Organization (WHO) and the climate activist Greta Thunberg.
The Anglican Consultative Council’s permanent representative to the UN, Jack Palmer-White, said that he was delighted at the news, and congratulated the WFP 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”.
He then described the scale of the problem that the WFP is attempting to tackle. “It is estimated that 821 million people go to bed hungry every night all over the world. Without the work of the World Food Programme, millions of people would die of hunger.”
There remained a significant gap, he said, between what member states had pledged and what the WFP needed. “If we are to achieve the second of the Sustainable Development Goals — to reach zero hunger around the world — we all need to do more to provide the finance, technical support, and political will to make this possible.”
The award was also welcomed by the Anglican Alliance, the development charity established after the Lambeth Conference in 2008. Its executive director, Canon Rachel Carnegie, said: “This is worthy recognition of the courageous and compassionate role that WFP plays across the world in bringing food, assistance, and, above all, hope to nearly 100 million people in communities facing conflict, insecurity, poverty, and the brutal daily trauma of hunger.”
The charity had worked with the WFP over many years in countries such as South Sudan. “In this time as the world faces Covid-19, the service WFP brings to the world has never been more needed, as the terrible impact of the pandemic increases inequality and vulnerability, and drives millions into poverty and hunger.”