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The message in the Peace Nobel — multilateralism

The message in the Peace Nobel — multilateralism

Context: This year’s Nobel Peace Prize to the World Food Programme (WFP) is a recognition of its role in combating hunger and malnutrition across the developing world. But the WFP’s achievement are modest, not because it is an inefficient institution, but because it is perennially under-funded.


  1. GS paper 1: Poverty and Developmental issues,
  2. GS Paper 2: Issues relating to Poverty and Hunger, Important International Institutions, agencies and fora – their Structure, Mandate.

Mains questions:

  1. ‘Despite implementation of various programmes for eradication of poverty by the government in India, poverty is still existing.’ Explain by giving reasons. (15 marks)
  2. “An essential condition to eradicate poverty is to liberate the poor from deprivation.” Substantiate this statement with suitable examples. 15 marks
  3. Food, energy and water security are inter-linked with strong feedback loops . Enhancing food security may lead to diminished water and energy security. Critically examine. (15 marks)

1: Why does international solidarity is needed in present time?

Status of food crisis: According to the World Food Program, 132 million more people could become malnourished as a consequence of the pandemic. To the 690 million

people who go to bed each night on an empty stomach, perhaps another 100 million or more will be added.

2: What are the challenges to international solidarity ?

  • Presently nationalistic policies are guided by the political opportunism which diminish the appeal of international cooperation.
  • The United Nation failed to keep alive the notion of international solidarity and cooperation.
  • The Developed World have resisted efforts to institute long overdue reforms; 75 years on, its structure no longer reflects the changes in power equations that have taken place.
  • There are multilateral institutions they have become platforms for contestations among their member states

3: Measure to bring international solidarity: –

  • The world leaders should understand that When the lives of people are at stake, active collaboration would have enhanced our collective ability to overcome what has become a public health-cum-economic crisis.
  • the UN is now an essential part of the fabric of international relations; its role has become even more important precisely because the salience of global issues has expanded and the need for multilateral approaches in finding solutions has greatly increased.
  • The multilateral institutions should cooperate with each other and try to address the issues related to current pandemic.
  • Globalisation is driven by technology and as long as technology remains the key driver of economic growth, there is no escape from globalisation. Thus, globalization will help to cooperate to address the issues which are common to all the people.
  • India has been a consistent advocate of multilateralism and Prime Minister recently said: “India firmly believes that the path to achieve sustainable peace and prosperity is through multilateralism. As children of Planet Earth we must join hands to address our common challenges and achieve our common goals.”


  • About World Food Program:
  • Initiated by United Nation in 1961.
  • Focused area: Hunger and food security
  • Headquarter: Rome
  • Reports by WFP: 2020- Global Reports on Food crisis:
  • Hunger In India: 
  • About 15 percent of India is undernourished
  • One-third of food gets lost or wasted
  • Women account for 60 percent of India’s hungry population
  • 3,000 children die every day from hunger.
  • Around 30 percent of new-borns die from lack of nutrition
  • Global Hunger Index2019
  • Released by: Concern Worldwide (an Irish agency) and the Welt Hunger Hilfe (a German organization)
  • India ranked 102nd on the Global Hunger Index
  • The report is based on four GHI indicators namely, undernourishment, child stunting, child wasting, and child mortality
  • India’s child wasting rate was extremely high at 20.8% – the highest 

GHI-2019 Report

  • India’s rank has slipped from 95th position (in 2010) to 102nd (in 2019). Over a longer-term duration, the fall in India’s rank is sharper, i.e, from 83rd out of 113 countries in 2000 to 102nd out of 117 in 2019.
  • According to the report, India’s child wasting rate was extremely high at 20.8% – the highest for any country.
  • Child wasting refers to the share of children under the age of five who are wasted, i.e, they have low weight with respect to their height, reflecting acute undernutrition.
  • The share of wasting among children in India marked a steep rise from 16.5% in the 2008-2012 to 20.8% in 2014-2018.
  • According to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), child wasting is a strong predictor of mortality among children (under 5 yrs. of age).

Why is India ranked so low on GHI?

  • There is one category — Child Wasting, that is, children with low weight for their age — where India has worsened.
  • In other words, the percentage of children under the age of 5 years suffering from wasting has gone up from 16.5 in 2010 to 20.8 now.
  • Wasting is indicative of acute undernutrition and India is the worst among all countries on this parameter.
  • India’s child wasting rate is extremely high at 20.8 percent — the highest wasting rate of any country in this report for which data or estimates were available.
December 2023