The U.S. Institute of Peace congratulates the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) on winning the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize. For decades, the agency has delivered relief to vulnerable populations and laid the groundwork for peace in some of the world’s most conflict-affected regions.

World Food Program food distribution

“Hunger is one of the most destabilizing forces in a society. Without the WFP, the efforts of peacebuilders would not be possible,” said Joe Lataille, acting president and CFO of USIP. “We cannot begin to build peace until people’s basic needs are met, and the WFP has saved countless lives from the brink of starvation. We are grateful and proud to call the WFP our partners.”

In 2019 alone, the WFP served over 100 million people in 88 countries in what is the largest humanitarian food and hunger assistance program in the world. And this year, with the number of people facing life-threatening food insecurity expected to double as a result of COVID-19, the WFP has only expanded its reach—playing a crucial role in the global response to the pandemic.

“This honor is very well-deserved,” said Tyler Beckelman, USIP’s director of international partnerships. “When the world locked down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WFP provided the logistical backbone to humanitarians, health workers, and peacebuilders, keeping open a lifeline to people affected by conflict across the world. This award underscores the crucial need for international solidarity and cooperation, exemplified by WFP’s extraordinary work, in the midst of a generational pandemic.”

USIP has partnered with the WFP in numerous conflict zones to build the foundations for peace, and we look forward to strengthening our partnership as the world tackles the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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