13:20 GMT31 October 2020
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    MOSCOW(Sputnik) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov sent a congratulatory message to UN World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director David Beasley on the occasion of the WFP receiving the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry said that relations between Russia and the WFP had been dynamically developing since the early 2000s.

    "The volume of our cooperation is increasing, its geography is expanding, and the quality is changing. Today the WFP is the main multilateral channel through which Russia provides food aid to the needy population of other countries. From 2003 to 2020, the total amount of Russian voluntary contributions to the WFP fund exceeded $450 million", it said.

    "We are set to further develop constructive cooperation with the programme", the ministry said.

    The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced earlier that the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the UN humanitarian organisation promoting food security worldwide "for its efforts to combat hunger". It also highlighted that the COVID-19 pandemic has further increased the importance of the WFP, as the health emergency has prompted a surge in the worldwide hunger rate.

    COVID-19, food, diplomacy, congratulations, Sergei Lavrov, Russia
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