Nobel Peace Prize 2020 | UPSC

Nobel Peace Prize 2020 | UPSC


World Food Programme wins Nobel Peace Prize 2020

      WHY IN NEWS:

Organisation awarded not just for its previous humanitarian record but also for the role it will play in the post-COVID-19 world



For PRELIMS it is important to understand why this award is given , to whom and what is the selection criteria . Also the second part of this article covers World Food Programme too .

For MAINS can you mention few point about Nobel peace prize controversy ? Let us dive in !


The Nobel Committee decided to confer the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize to the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP).


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


Since March 1901 it has been awarded annually (with some exceptions) to those who have :

  • Done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations.
  • For the abolition or reduction of standing armies.
  • Or for the holding and promotion of peace congresses


  • Alfred Nobel showed a big interest in social issues and was engaged in the peace movement.
  • His acquaintance with Bertha von Suttner, who was a driving force in the international peace movement in Europe.

Peace was the fifth and final prize area that Nobel mentioned in his will.

  • The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded by a committee elected by the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget).


  • The Norwegian Nobel Committee is responsible for selecting the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates.
  • By the terms of Alfred Nobel’s will the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee since 1901.
  • Alfred Nobel left no explanation as to why the prize for peace was to be awarded by a Norwegian committee .
  • While the other four prizes were to be handled by Swedish committees.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee is composed of five members appointed by the Storting (Norwegian Parliament).

  • The Committee’s composition reflects the relative strengths of the political parties in the Storting.
  • It is assisted by specially appointed expert advisers.


Selection procedure - Nobel Prize


  • Nobel laureate receives a diploma, a medal, and a document confirming the prize amount.
  • As of 2019, the prize was worth 9 million SEK. (About 7 Crore INR ).


  • The World Food Programme (WFP) is the leading humanitarian organization saving lives and changing lives.

It is delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience.

  • The international community has committed to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition by 2030.
  • One in nine people worldwide still do not have enough to eat.
  • Food and food-related assistance lie at the heart of the struggle to break the cycle of hunger and poverty.


WFP headquarters is located in Rome , Italy.


  • For its efforts to combat hunger.
  • For its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas.

WFP is acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.

  • WFP is going to play a prominent role post-novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) .


In 2019, WFP assisted 97 million people – the largest number since 2012 –  in 88 countries.

Peace Prize 2020 | UPSC


  • On any given day, WFP has 5,600 trucks, 30 ships and nearly 100 planes on the move, delivering food and other assistance to those in most need.
  • Every year, WFP distribute more than 15 billion rations at an estimated average cost per ration of US$ 0.61.
  • These numbers lie at the roots of WFP’s unparalleled reputation as an emergency responder.


  • WFP’s efforts focus on emergency assistancerelief and rehabilitationdevelopment aid and special operations.
  • Two-thirds of our work is in conflict-affected countries where people are three times more likely to be undernourished.

WFP provides food assistance to the victims of war, civil conflict, drought, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, crop failures and natural disasters.

  • When the emergency subsides, WFP helps communities rebuild shattered lives and livelihoods.
  • WFP also focuses on strengthening the resilience of people and communities affected by protracted crises.

Nobel Peace Prize 2020 | UPSC


  • WFP development projects are focused on nutrition, especially for mothers and children, addressing malnutrition.
  • Through programmes WFP targets the first 1,000 days from conception to a child’s second birthday, and later through school meals.

WFP is the largest humanitarian organisation implementing school feeding programmes worldwide and has been doing so for over 50 years.

  • In 2019, WFP provided school meals to more than 17.3 million children in 50 countries.
  • In 2019, WFP provided 4,2 million metric tons of food and US$2.1 billion of cash and vouchers.
  • By buying food as close as possible to where it is needed, WFP saves time and money on transport costs.
  • WFP meets people’s food needs through cash-based transfers that allow the people we serve to choose and shop for their own food locally.
  • WFP also provides services including passenger air transportation through the UN Humanitarian Air Service.


  • Funded entirely by voluntary donations, WFP raised a record-breaking US$8 billion in 2019.
  • Since WFP has no independent source of funds, all donations either in cash or in-kind .

Governments , Corporates and Individuals support on an entirely voluntary basis.

  • WFP has more than 17,000 staff worldwide of whom over 90 percent are based in the countries where the agency provides assistance.


  • WFP is governed by a 36-member Executive Board.


  • WFP partners with more than 1,000 national and international NGOs to provide food assistance and tackle the underlying causes of hunger.


Nobel Peace Prize 2020 | WFP | UPSC

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • No society is immune to hunger and malnutrition.
  • But conflict, climate shocks, natural disasters or inequality leave many nations perilously exposed to this burden.
  • Across the world, 821 million people are going hungry – 124 million acutely so.

At risk are not just the lives and health of millions but also the economic viability of fragile states.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU  | Nobel Peace Prize 2020 | UPSC



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