CGIAR welcomes Nobel recognition of UN World Food Programme

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CGIAR has joined the global community in congratulating the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on being awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Committee’s recognition of WFP’s role in support of peace through food and nutrition security brings welcome attention to the agency’s outstanding work, as well as the collective and ongoing challenge of ending world hunger.

“The World Food Programme contributes enormously toward the global goal of ending hunger by 2030, and is well-deserving of the recognition it has received as a force for world peace,” said Elwyn Grainger-Jones, Managing Director, Institutional Strategy and Systems, CGIAR System Organization.

“As a long-standing partner, CGIAR congratulates the World Food Programme on its achievement, and is committed to continue working together in the future toward our common aims.”

The United Nations agency was recognized by the award committee for “its efforts to combat hunger, 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”.

Norwegian Nobel Committee Chairwoman Berit Reiss-Andersen said that the awarding of the Peace Prize to WFP intended to “turn the eyes of the world to the millions of people who suffer from or face the threat of hunger”.

The agency’s work is of particular importance in 2020, the committee noted, due to the increased threat of hunger posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. David Beasley, Executive Director of WFP, raised the alarm earlier in the year that urgent collaborative action was needed to avoid “multiple famines of biblical proportions” as a result of the pandemic.

Claudia Sadoff, Convener of the Executive Management Team and Managing Director, Research Delivery and Impact, CGIAR System Organization, welcomed the attention that the award has brought not only to WFP, but to all organizations that work in food security for peace, including CGIAR.

“Food is security. A lack of food is deeply destabilizing, and we know that resilient food systems are the basis of resilient communities, including the in the face of climate change,” she said.

CGIAR currently works with WFP and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and partners in the area of climate security, at the intersection of climate change, conflict and food security.

The ongoing work aims to address the roles of food, land and water systems in mitigating and helping communities adapt to climate change, while preventing hunger and conflict. The work is underpinned by CGIAR research on agricultural productivity, natural resource management, climate science, livelihoods and food security, youth, and gender, markets, and value chains.

CGIAR Research Centers and Programs have a long history of collaboration with WFP. The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), for example, has worked with the agency for more than two decades in areas such as improving food aid distribution systems and designing social protection programs that aim to improve nutrition through food and cash transfers to the poor.

“The World Food Programme is an important partner of CGIAR that we rely on to assist in bringing scientific innovations to scale, and making a difference for those most in need,” said Kundhavi Kadiresan, Managing Director, Global Engagement and Innovation, CGIAR System Organization.

“We extend our greatest appreciation to WFP and to the Nobel Committee for raising the profile of food systems and their important contributions to global peace and prosperity.”


Photo credit: World Food Programme aid delivery in Nepal, 2008. Photo by L. Melo/WFP

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