COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - From 1901 to 2020, the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded over 100 times. This year’s award recipient was the United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP), an organization led by former South Carolina governor, David Beasley.
According to The Nobel Prize’s website, WFP won the award “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”.
The organization beat out 317 other candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize which included 211 individuals and 106 other organizations.
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WFP is the largest humanitarian-based organization that addresses hunger while also promoting food security in over 80 countries.
Beasley, the executive director of WFP, tweeted out his reaction to the organization winning this year’s prize.
Beasley was traveling through Africa most of the day Friday but WIS was able to speak with him over the phone as he was switching planes.
He credited his 18,000 staff members for this award. He said he was shocked when he learned the news early Friday.
“I literally fell out my chair. I could not believe it,” the former South Carolina governor said.
With the COVID-19 pandemic pushing more people towards poverty, Beasley said about 270 million people are now starving across the world. “We’re facing a COVID-19 pandemic and a hunger pandemic.”
Beasley said he appreciates all the help the South Carolina federal delegation has done to help the organization.
He said his upbringing in the Palmetto State helped lead him down this path.
“To be around the world carrying that light, I can’t be any prouder than being a South Carolinian in this role,” Beasley added.
At the end of the interview, Beasley said he hopes this award will be a call to action for many to help fight world hunger.
Beasley served as governor of SC from 1995-1999. He was also a member of the state’s House of Representatives from 1979 until he was elected as governor.
The award comes with a 10-milion krona ($1.1 million) cash prize and a gold medal.