Support for 85 million people
“My warmest congratulations go to the World Food Programme and its Executive Director David Beasley on the well-deserved Nobel Peace Prize. The World Food Programme stands for the international community’s responsibility for every single human life”, Foreign Minister Maas stated today. “Every day, its untiring efforts save millions of people from hunger and malnutrition. Working in the most dangerous places in the world, its staff are champions of humanity.”
In the first half of this year alone, 85 million people received vital supplies from the World Food Programme (WFP). Some 553,000 tonnes of food were distributed in 121 countries – a huge achievement.
New challenges posed by COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic in particular has highlighted how important WFP is when it comes to supplying food to those in need. When planes had to remain grounded and it became more difficult to cross borders, WFP logistics ensured that life-saving assistance continued to reach those suffering hardship.
The pandemic and its secondary consequences have created immense and unprecedented problems for the international community. The poorest are hit hardest: observers believe that the number of people at risk from hunger could rise dramatically, as could the number of people below the poverty line.
Financial support for helpers
WFP can only fulfil its mission to provide basic supplies to people in crisis situations if the necessary funding is made available. The funding gap in 2021 is likely to rise to up to 40% due to the impact of the pandemic. A lack of funds would have very concrete tragic consequences for people in need.
Germany is the world’s second largest donor to WFP and made available additional funds in 2020, for instance to maintain the organisation’s flight service. We have been cooperating closely with WFP in a spirit of mutual trust for many years. In 2020, the Federal Foreign Office has so far provided funding to the tune of 542 million euro.
Award sends an important message
First and foremost, the award of the Nobel Peace Prize is a mark of great recognition. However, it also sends an important message. The award can ensure that the general public continues to take note of the many humanitarian emergencies, as well as of the tireless commitment of countless aid workers who give their all every day.
With the determined efforts of the international community and in a strong multilateral system, WFP can keep on growing stronger in the fight against hunger. Germany supports this commitment, also within the context of the Alliance for Multilateralism.