October 2020: The winning of Nobel Peace Prize 2020 by WFP brings joy to all the advocates of food security, entailing the celebration of World Food Day on 16 October 2020, marking 75 years since the establishment of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. This year, World Food Day stands for the preservation and easy access to safe and nutritious food as part of the response of the public to the COVID-19 global health crisis. HEAL Foundation lauds the brilliant initiative of WFP to give back to humanity in the form of community service and warmly welcomes the honour bestowed upon the WFP for its noble cause.
Today, people all over the world are being pushed in a condition of severe poverty, forced to survive without food, water and shelter due to loss of jobs. However, every dark cloud has a silver lining- in terms of food security, this silver lining appears in the form of the UNs World Food Programme being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. As of 2020, the WFP has assisted about 100 million people from over 88 countries worldwide.
Elaborating on the role of WFP towards addressing hunger and malnutrition and on the need for food security, while addressing India Immunity e-Summit in the 7th Episode of HEAL-Thy Samvaad organised by HEAL Foundation in association with ICCIDD, Bishow Parajuli, Representative & Country Director, WFP, India, said, "During the COVID-19 time, we laid emphasis that everyone should get adequate food. We worked on policy issues. We also started engaging the govt. in compensating the midday meal for children. The WFP has joined hands with the governments in the management and distribution of foods to the needy. Hunger and malnutrition are rising due to COVID-19. However, some Indian states have faced a crisis but at the same time the role of some states have been instrumental in tackling the COVID-19 situation such as Kerala, Orissa and UP have done a fantastic job, indeed."
"Especially, the UP state has been seen quite proactive in ensuring that the people receive food even without ration cards. The CM of UP is coming forward and making sure that no one sleeps hungry. To scale up the food supply chain and to combat the food crisis, the UP Govt. is pumping INR 1200 crore." POSHAN Abhiyan in India is fantastic, though it is affected a bit due to COVID. The WFP has been identifying hunger and supporting the government towards helping the people in getting food", added Bishow Parajuli.
Dr C S Pandav, Former HoD, Community Medicine, AIIMS, Director- South Asia Region, ICCIDD was also in high praises for this honour being awarded to WFP, and said, "I express my wholehearted congratulations to the World Food Programme (WFP) on winning the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize 2020. The WFP has made an invaluable contribution towards eliminating hunger and poverty in the most vulnerable and conflict-affected regions worldwide by ensuring sustainable food and nutrition security. To quote Ralph Waldo Emerson, "The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, and to be compassionate". The WFP has truly acted compassionately like a ray of hope amidst the global crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic and I sincerely salute WFP for putting such unparalleled efforts to address the biggest humanitarian crisis."
The WFP winning the Nobel Peace Prize has certainly been a moment of inspiration and pride for all warriors fighting for food security. Dr Swadeep Srivastava, Founder, HEAL Foundation, also lauded this effort wholeheartedly and stated, "Often, we try our best to bask in small achievements but big ones like the Nobel Peace Prize make our hearts swell up with pride. The WFP has been doing a wonderful job, aiding people worldwide and making such a huge contribution to helping the world combat the hunger crisis like this. We at HEAL Foundation, hope that this glorious honour is one feather in the cap of an initiative which deserves much more and that we will be lucky enough to stand by the WFP as they receive this award, and much more, for the humanitarian work they have been doing. We congratulate WFP for this grand achievement for the real cause, and on World Food Day hope that they will be working consistently until the hunger is eradicated from the world."