The United Nations' World Food Programme has been named the winner of the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to combat hunger and its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas.
The announcement was made in Oslo, Norway, tonight Nobel Committee chair Berit Reiss-Andersen.
The World Food Programme (WFP), the UN's food-assistance arm, is the world's largest humanitarian organisation addressing hunger and promoting food security.
The WFP last year provided assistance to nearly 1 million people in 88 countries affected by acute food insecurity and hunger.
"I think this is the first time in my life I've been without words," World Food Programme executive director David Beasley told the Associated Press from Niger. "I was just so shocked and surprised."
The 2020 Nobel Peace Prize had 318 candidates, of which 211 were individuals and 107 organisations.
The award comes with a NZ$1.6 million cash prize and a gold medal, presented on December 10.
Time Magazine had earlier named New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a selection of what it said was the “bookmakers favourites” to win.
The World Health Organisation, Greta Thunberg, US President Donald Trump and Saudi women's rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul were also included in the pick.
Jacinda Ardern was tipped as favourite for the prize last year by Time Magazine, following her response to the March 15 Christchurch terrorist attacks.
The Prime Minister said she was not expecting to win, however, adding that there were others who were more deserving of the prize.
"I'm extremely flattered by the fact that people even consider it within the realm of possibility," she said. "But, it’s fair to say, I never have."
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took out the 2019 prize, "for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea”.
A joint 2018 prize went to Dr Denis Mukwege from Congo and human rights activist Nadia Murad. They were awarded for their work in the fight to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.