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To celebrate their 30-year partnership, representatives of WFP and World Vision hold an orange T-shirt together
18 December 2020

World Food Programme wins Nobel Peace Prize

A winning partnership for over 30 years: World Food Programme and World Vision

World Vision UK Programme Officer, Christine Barrett (pictured below) celebrates this landmark win.

In December 2020, the World Food Programme received the Nobel Peace Prize "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."

Notable past recipients of this, one of the most important prizes in the world, are Mother Teresa (1979) and Malala Yousafzai (2014).

Room of people sit on the floor together in Sudan to discuss the local World Vision-World Food Programme
Christine Barrett, right front, in blue headscarf, visits a World Vision-World Food Programme joint project in Sudan.

A match made in heaven

World Vision is very proud to have been the largest global non-government partner of the World Food Programme (WFP) for the past 16 years. In 2019 World Vision globally supported 10.7 million people through this partnership; 53% of them were children and 70% were living in what we call fragile contexts (places where it is most difficult to live and for a child to grow up). Many of World Vision’s aims are the same as those of the World Food Programmes, so we are a match made in heaven!

The World Food Programme's logistics operation is key to delivering food to tens of millions in need. Paired with World Vision’s knowledge of local communities and how to work together with these communities and their governments, together we're able to effectively deliver life-saving food to those who need it the most.

World Vision UK’s supporters have for many years been supporting this vital work to take place.

People in World Vision tops carry large pieces of wood in Bangladesh to help with a project

Assistance through conflict

In times of conflict, people like those in a joint World Vision and WFP project in South Sudan, can be forced to move far away from their farms. Often they end up in remote areas sometimes for months or years, to keep themselves and their families safe. The project in South Sudan involved dropping food from planes to very rural, remote areas because poor quality roads and ongoing conflict in the area prevented transportation of urgently needed food.

The beautiful and inspiring short video below, perfectly captures the partnership of World Vision and the World Food Programme at work together in South Sudan.

Providing food

Earlier in 2020, in the UK, footballer Marcus Rashford made headlines campaigning for free school meals to be provided in the holidays to stop holiday hunger for all children. His petition, with over 880,000 signatures at the time of writing, shows just how much we in the UK care about the issue of child food poverty. This is something we've been blessed to see for many years now, as World Vision UK's supporters have supported our joint programmes with the World Food Programme.

In South Darfur, in Sudan, a joint World Vision and WFP-supported project, which I visited in 2018, took this work a step further when treating acute malnutrition in small children. World Vision in Sudan built on research showing that combining health programmes for mothers and children, along with support for positive parenting and playing, is likely to have long-term benefits for children’s development and health. World Vision was welcomed into the community to provide training and play support to families, which as well as being enjoyable and strengthening family bonds, also helped the children to recover better.

The results of this approach are evident in the healthy, smiling face of Mashier, 25, with her 8-month-old daughter, Mayamen (pictured below). You can read the full story here.

Woman smiles as she plays with her daughter, who is now recovered from malnutrition and is a healthy weight after World Vision's support in Sudan

Gold medal for the WFP

The prestigious gold medal and 10 million Swedish Krona (approx. £875,000) prize money were awarded in Oslo on 10th December to David Beasley, the animated Executive Director of the World Food Programme. Mr Beasley paid credit to the WFP's family of "19,000 peacemakers" upon winning the award.

The 63-year-old, who was US Governor for South Carolina in 1995-99, visited the UK in February 2019, attending an All Party Parliamentary Group on agriculture, food and development at Westminster. I was lucky to be able to attend and saw a compassionate, warm and enthusiastic leader of this great United Nations agency who declared at the event that he was a ‘cheerleader’ for the work of the World Food programme not a ‘leader’ of it.

Following the award of this most coveted prize, Mr Beasley declared: “The world needs a good message right now.”

I do not believe anyone would argue with him.

You can learn more about the different partners we work with here.

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