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Nobel Prize for Peace 2020

  • 10 Oct 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

The 2020 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the World Food Programme (WFP), a United Nations (UN) agency, for its efforts to combat hunger, bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and preventing the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.

Key Points

  • World Food Programme:
    • It was established in 1961 by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and became a full-fledged UN programme in 1965.
    • Headquarter: Rome, Italy.
  • Significance and Achievements:
    • Eradicating hunger is one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 2: Zero Hunger) to be achieved by 2030 and WFP is the UN’s primary agency that works towards this goal.
    • Currently, it is the world’s largest humanitarian agency combating hunger.
    • In 2019, it assisted 97 million people, the largest number since 2012, in 88 countries. The same year, it delivered about 4.4 million tonnes of food, purchased USD 1.7 billion worth of food from 91 countries, and USD 762 million worth of goods and services from 156 countries.
  • Data on Hunger:
    • According to the WFP, there are 690 million hungry people around the world and around 60% of them live in countries affected by conflict.
      • It highlights that people living in countries with long-running crises are more than twice as likely to be undernourished than people elsewhere (2.5 times as much).
    • The number of hungry people is expected to increase further due to Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to earnings losses, made food more expensive and has disrupted supply chains.
    • The WFP estimates suggest that by 2030, nearly half of the global poor will be living in fragile and conflict-affected situations.

WFP’s Role in India

  • It has been working in India since 1963.
  • It focuses on reforms in the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) and provides policy inputs, advocacy and technical assistance for improving access to food.
  • The WFP has proposed unique initiatives like Automatic Grain Dispensing Machine (Annapurti) and Mobile Storage Units for the effective implementation of TPDS.
    • Annapurti allows beneficiaries to withdraw their foodgrain quota accurately and at a time of their choice through automatic grain dispensing machines.
  • WFP India has completed a pilot on rice fortification used in the government’s Mid-day Meals scheme.
  • During the pandemic, WFP India worked with the central and state governments and has also prepared a guidance note for the reopening of schools.
    • For example, it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Uttar Pradesh State Rural Livelihood Mission (SRLM) to provide technical assistance for setting up supplementary nutrition production units.

Source: IE

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