Ministers Wilmès and Kitir congratulate the World Food Programme with the Nobel Peace Prize

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmès and Minister of Development Cooperation Meryame Kitir are very satisfied with the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the World Food Programme (WFP). WFP is one of Belgium's privileged humanitarian partners in order to respond quickly and efficiently in crisis situations. "Belgium has provided a record amount of 26.3 million euros in aid to the Nobel Prize Laureate for 2020," says Meryame Kitir.

26.3 million euros of Belgian aid

Belgium’s humanitarian policy is guided by the principles of "Good Humanitarian Donorship". This is in line with the commitment our country took at the World Humanitarian Summit in 2015. One of the principles is predictable funding for humanitarian organizations so that they can respond flexibly, quickly and dynamically to changing humanitarian needs.

Belgian support for the WFP fits in with this principle. Thanks to flexible and predictable funding, WFP can respond quickly and provide immediate and efficient assistance to people in need, even in "forgotten crises" such as Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo and, of course, Lebanon and Syria.

In addition, Belgium also supports the WFP to use innovative and new technologies to make the delivery of humanitarian aid even more efficient. Indeed, humanitarian access is often hindered by armed groups in conflict zones. Thanks to Belgian funding, for example, drones have been used.

Although the World Food Organization has never had more resources at its disposal, the financial needs remain high. The number of malnourished people worldwide has increased due to conflict, drought and other natural catastrophes that only increase food insecurity and consequently the need for humanitarian aid. It is only because of the Covid19 pandemic that we are seeing an enormous increase in "starvation victims". The global recession caused by the virus threatens to plunge 83 to 132 million extra people into famine.

Belgium's commitment to the Security Council

Unfortunately, there is often a clear link between famine and armed conflict. They form a vicious circle in which conflict leads to food shortages and food shortages often lead to tension and violence.

Sophie Wilmès: "By awarding the United Nations World Food Programme, the Nobel Committee underlines the central role that the WFP has been able to play in fighting hunger in the world and bringing peace to conflict zones through humanitarian aid. Its work should serve as an example for us in our actions as a state to help build a more stable and secure world. Belgium is part of this approach. We demonstrate this every day through our work in the United Nations Security Council.”

The humanitarian aspects of the many crises in the world have therefore always been at the heart of the Belgian mandate as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council that expires at the end of December. Our country, as co-penholder, has thus made far-reaching efforts to renew the so-called cross-border resolution of the UNSC, which should make cross-border humanitarian aid in Syria possible.

Competent partners

Providing humanitarian aid is a complex operation with a multitude of partners in the field who all give the best of themselves on the basis of their expertise. This is why Ministers Wilmès and Kitir are particularly pleased that the WFP, one of the most important partners in Belgian humanitarian policy, has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.