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UN’s World Food Programme wins 2020 Nobel Peace Prize



The United Nations food agency, the World Food Programme (WFP), has won the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to combat hunger and improve conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas.

The winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize was announced on Friday at 11 a.m. (0900 GMT) in Oslo by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. There were 318 candidates, 211 individuals and 107 organisations for the nomination.

Our correspondent reports that the prize comes with a $1.1 million cash award and a gold medal which would be handed over at a ceremony in Oslo, Norway, on Dec. 10, 2020, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel’s death.

The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Swedish industrialist, inventor and armaments manufacturer Alfred Nobel, along with the prizes in Chemistry, Physics, Physiology or Medicine and Literature.

It has been awarded annually since March 1901, to those who 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.”

This year’s ceremony to hand over the prize will be on a low key due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Rome-based WFP, the programme helps some 97 million people in about 88 countries each year, and one in nine people worldwide still do not have enough to eat.

On Thursday, American poet Louise Gluck won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature for her ‘’candid and uncompromising ‘’ works exploring family and childhood in an “unmistakable…voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal”.

The chemistry prize on Wednesday went to scientists behind a powerful gene-editing tool.

Tuesday’s Nobel prize for physics honoured breakthroughs in understanding the mysteries of cosmic black holes and on Monday, the Nobel committee awarded the prize for physiology and medicine for discovering the liver-ravaging hepatitis C virus.

Next week, the prize for outstanding work in the field of economics will be awarded.

Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan is the youngest to have won the Nobel peace prize in 2014. She got the prize alongside Kailash Satyarthi of India for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.

Africans who have won the Nobel peace prize include Albert Lutuli, South Africa, (1960); Muhammad Anwar el-Sadat, Egypt (1978); Desmond Tutu, South Africa, (1984); Nelson Mandela and Frederick Williem de Klerk, South Africa (1993) and Kofi Annan , Ghana (2001).

Others include Wangari Muta Maathai, Kenya (2004); Mohamed ElBaradei, Egypt (2005); Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee of Liberia (2011); Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet (2015); Denis Mukwege, Democratic Republic of Congo (2018) and Abiy Ahmed of Ethopia in 2019.

Vivian Ihechu

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