Nobel Peace Prize 2020: World Food Programme wins for ‘efforts to combat global hunger’

The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to the UN World Food Programme for ‘its efforts to combat global hunger’

The World Food Programme has been announced as the winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts in combatting global hunger.

The UN body topped a field of contenders that included climate activist Greta Thunberg, Russian dissident Alexei Navalny and the World Health Organisation for its role in combatting the coronavirus pandemic.

Also among the field were US President Donald Trump, who became a surprise nomination earlier this year, and Vladimir Putin, who is nominated every year.  

There were 318 candidates – 211 individuals and 107 organizations. Nominations can be made by a select group, including national lawmakers, heads of state and certain international institutions.

The deadline for nominations was Feb. 1, which means that those on the front lines of fighting COVID-19 – which was only declared a pandemic in March – appear unlikely contenders.

Along with enormous prestige, the prize comes with a 10-milion krona ($1.1 million) cash award and a gold medal to be handed out at a ceremony in Oslo, Norway, on Dec. 10, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel’s death. 

This year’s ceremony will be scaled down due to the pandemic.

On Monday, the Nobel Committee awarded the prize for physiology and medicine for discovering the liver-ravaging hepatitis C virus. 

Tuesday’s prize for physics honored breakthroughs in understanding the mysteries of cosmic black holes, and the chemistry prize on Wednesday went to scientists behind a powerful gene-editing tool. 

The literature prize was awarded to American poet Louise Gluck on Thursday for her ‘candid and uncompromising’ work.

Still to come next week is the prize for outstanding work in the field of economics.