The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has been awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to combat hunger and food insecurity around the globe.
WFP, the 101st winner of a prize now worth 10m Swedish krona ($1.1m; £875,000), was given the prize for its efforts to combat hunger and improve conditions for peace.
The chair of the Nobel Committee Berit Reiss-Andersen made the announcement in Oslo saying the coronavirus pandemic has worsened a hunger crisis faced by millions of people around the world and called on governments to ensure that WFP and other aid organizations receive the financial support necessary to feed them.
Tomson Phiri, WFP spokesperson in Geneva, said: “This is a proud moment, the nomination was itself enough, but winning the Nobel Prize is nothing short of a feat.
Phiri said “during the pandemic we were the biggest airline in the world when all commercial airlines were grounded, we moved assistance and delivered assistance through our global common services and so our staff were able to stay and deliver in communities where people were at risk of the infection and hunger.”
Some 107 organisations and 211 individuals were nominated for the award this year.
Smaller Thanksgiving Gatherings Disrupt US Turkey Market
Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States—a day when millions of families get together, share turkey meals and revel. And it is a day of the famous Macy’s parade. But it’s a smaller occasion this year as COVID-19 has put a damper on large celebrations.
The turkey industry in the country is seeing both a shortage of smaller turkeys and a surplus of the bigger ones as more Americans plan to hold smaller gatherings for Thanksgiving as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As Americans heed the advice of health authorities to hold smaller gatherings, they have had to downsize their turkeys from the usual thirty-pound birds.
A recent survey conducted by the American turkey and poultry company, butterball, found that three out of four of its respondents are opting for simpler, smaller dinners this year, which is in line with recommendations from the centers for disease control and prevention.
But that creates a problem for America’s turkey industry where at least forty million turkeys are usually consumed every Thanksgiving. The national turkey federation says most of the frozen turkeys one would find in the supermarkets now had gone into the field before the pandemic hit. Now, there is a huge backlog, especially of the big size birds that people are not buying because of reduction in crowd sizes.
Nonetheless, Americans say they will make the best of this thanksgiving day and pray that next year would be coronavirus-free. Then, life can return to normal.
General: COVID-19 Vaccines Will Be Ready For Delivery 24 Hours After FDA Authorization
Four-Star general Gustave Perna who is leading the U.S. government’s operation warp speed, the crash program to develop, produce, and distribute enough COVID-19 vaccine doses to inoculate 300 million Americans, says he is confident vaccines will be “on the streets 24 hours after being authorized by the food and drug administration.
The operation is stockpiling anticipated vaccines made by six different drug makers.
While the first two vaccines to be distributed will likely be from Pfizer and Moderna, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Affairs, Alex Azar, described the news from Astra zeneca’s clinical trials as “very promising” and noted that the company’s vaccine is already being produced in the country so it too can be ready for distribution once authorized by the FDA.
Azar confirmed the drugmaker is already producing mass quantities of the vaccine in the U.S.
Last week, Pfizer applied for authorization from the FDA and a hearing date was set for mid-December.
Formal Transition Of U.S. Power To Biden Begins After Lengthy Delay
US president-elect Joe Biden has been informally introducing his cabinet choices as formal transition begins.
Many of the choices, already announced, are Biden’s colleagues from his years in the Obama administration.
Former secretary of state, John Kerry, will be climate envoy, while foreign policy veteran Antony Blinken is nominated for secretary of state.
Avril Haines has been nominated for the post of director of national intelligence. If confirmed, she will be the first female to hold that position. Alejandro Mayorkas is named as homeland security boss. If confirmed, she would be the first Latino in that job.
President-elect Biden has highlighted the need to rebuild alliances, as well as tackling coronavirus and climate change.