The United Nations in Malawi has congratulated the World Food Programme (WFP) for winning the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize awarded last Fridayby the Norwegian Nobel Committee for its efforts to combat hunger, fight the use of hunger as a weapon of war and improve conditions for peace across the world.
In a statement made available to Nyasa Times , UN Malawi further commended the existing partnerships with national authorities, the private sector and communities to effectively respond to food insecurity in the country since 1965.
In 2018, WFP and other UN entities promoted the passing of a groundbreaking UN Security Council Resolution 2417 that, for the first time, highlighted the link between conflict and food insecurity, indicating the world cannot end hunger if there is no peace.
UN Malawi resident coordinator Maria Jose Torres said the award is a recognition of the hard work and dedication to support those who suffer most to realize the right to food in peace and at war.
She said: “We dedicate the award to men and women in the forefront of efforts to ensure that zero hunger becomes a reality in Malawi.”
In Malawi, WFP provides assistance to people affected by climate shocks such as floods or drought. Moreover, the country hosts over 40,000 refugees and asylum seekers who receive WFP cash assistance to buy food in the local markets which contributes to their peaceful coexistence with the host communities.
WFP also works with other UN agencies as part of “One UN” to keep girls in school, to build resilience and to fight climate change in an integrated approach for smallholder farmers through cash for assets, climate advisories, crop insurance, village savings and loan schemes, as well as market access support – altogether providing graduation pathways out of food insecurity and poverty. WFP is currently working with the Government of Malawi to scale up this resilience-building approach.
Despite gains in defeating hunger over recent decades, food insecurity is on the rise in many countries. It is estimated there are some 690 million hungry people in the world. Globally in 2019, WFP provided food assistance to nearly 100 million people in more than 80 countries. In Malawi, more efforts are still required to end hunger as about 37 percent of under-five children are stunted, and smallholder farmers are impacted by recurrent climate shocks.
“When children receive regular meals in school to supplement their drive for education, when women and men receive food as they work on community asset projects to fight climate change, we help to build more resilient and stable communities,” said WFP Malawi Country Director Benoit Thiry. “Food assistance saves lives and it is a vital tool for promoting longer term development and stability.”
WFP is the world’s first responder on the frontlines of food insecurity and has been actively providing live-saving food assistance to the people of Malawi within the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2019-2023.