Statement on World Food Programme Nobel Peace Prize
Many congratulations to the World Food Programme. In a time of great uncertainty and volatility in global conditions, the World Food Programme are worthy winners of the Nobel Peace Prize and demand for their services has never been so badly required.
Conflict, the climate emergency and now COVID19 are aggravating hunger and food insecurity across the developing world. With the UN reporting consistent annual increases in global hunger since 2014, the food assistance lifeline the agency provides to millions of the world’s most vulnerable people is often the tipping point between survival and the brink of starvation.
I have seen first-hand the World Food Programme’s impressive work in increasingly challenging times and working environments, but I have also witnessed how decreased international funding is threatening to reduce the lifeline they are able to provide.
Yemen, a country which is unable to deal with the implications posed by conflict, COVID19 and famine without international aid assistance, is on the brink of an irreparable disaster. 13 million Yemenis rely on daily food assistance from the World Food Programme, but funding cuts to the UN’s Yemen programming have resulted in regional disruption in the distribution of rations and in July alone over 700,000 families were cut from basic food rations.
I want to thank the World Food Programme for providing stability to many of the world’s most vulnerable people. Today’s announcement is a reminder to governments in the developed world how important future nutrition funding is.