Dalai Lama congratulates 2020 Nobel Peace Prize winner WFP for helping ‘vulnerable and needy’

DHARAMSALA, 12 Oct: The World Food Programme (WFP) is helping the most ‘vulnerable and needy,’ says His Holiness the Dalai Lama as he congratulated the world’s largest humanitarian organisation addressing hunger and promoting food security that was awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize.

The Tibetan Nobel Laureate said in a missive addressed to David Beasley, the Executive Director of the organisation that “This is a recognition of the organisation’s vital role in reducing hunger in the world.”

“Through its actions to address poverty, hunger and malnutrition, whether they arise due to conflict or natural disasters, the WFP is bringing help to the most vulnerable and needy. It brings peace and comfort where often there is only desperation,” it read.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee’s award citation stated that “the need for international solidarity and multilateral cooperation is more conspicuous than ever” and that for this reason, “the committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2020 to the WFP for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.”

It further added that In 2019 alone,  “the WFP provided assistance to close to 100 million people in 88 countries who are victims of acute food insecurity and hunger.”

“The work of the WFP to the benefit of humankind is an endeavour that all the nations of the world should be able to endorse and support,” the Nobel Committee stated.

The Dalai Lama noted that the Nobel Committee’s decision to honour the WFP should act as “a reminder to all of us of our responsibility to do what we can to narrow the gap between rich and poor.”

“As the current global health crisis reminds us, threats to the whole human family have to be addressed by us all, since we all want to be happy and free from suffering. Hunger and poverty can only be eliminated on the basis of international cooperation. As a firm believer in the oneness of humanity, it is my fervent hope that the award of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to the World Food Programme will inspire an intensification of efforts to ensure that nobody is left to die of hunger anywhere,” the letter read.

The octogenarian Tibetan leader concluded by expressing his gratitude “to the many members of the WFP, people on the ground, as well as officials, for the tremendous humanitarian work they do.” 

 Founded in 1961, the WFP is the food-assistance branch of the United Nations and the world’s largest humanitarian organization focused on hunger and food security. It is headquartered in Rome, Italy and has offices in 80 countries across the world.

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