"With this award, we wish to turn the world's eyes to the millions of people who face hunger and food poverty," Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the committee, announced in Oslo.

In 2019, the WFP provided assistance to close to 100 million people in 88 countries who are the victims of acute food insecurity and hunger.

The Rome-based WFP has also been instrumental in working to fight increased hunger caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Reiss-Andersen noted, adding that food insecurity is also a driving cause of conflict in the world.

"This is a proud moment," a WFP spokesman, Tomson Phiri, said in Geneva.

"This year we have gone over and above the call of duty," he added, referring to the extra work undertaken by the agency in light of the pandemic. "At one point we were the biggest airline in the world when most, if not all, commercial airline ground to a halt."

"This is a powerful reminder to the world that peace and zero hunger go hand-in-hand," the WFP wrote on Twitter.