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David Beasley in Cuba. Photo: Yamil Lage/AFP via Getty Images

The UN's World Food Program (WFP) was awarded this year's Nobel Peace Prize in a pointed assertion that multilateralism is saving lives despite the nationalism espoused by leaders like President Trump.

What they're saying: "Multilateralism seems to have a lack of respect these days,” said Nobel Committee director Berit Reiss-Andersen. "The need for international solidarity and multilateral co-operation is more conspicuous than ever."

The flipside: The director of the WFP, former South Carolina governor David Beasley, was actually a Trump administration pick. Another former Republican governor of that state, Nikki Haley, nominated him for the Rome-based post while serving as America's UN ambassador.

  • While President Trump has announced America's withdrawal from the WHO and criticized other UN agencies, WFP has not attracted the president's ire. Washington remains the agency's largest donor.
  • Beasley noted in a conversation with Axios last year that U.S. funding for the program had actually increased on his watch.

Driving the news: The WFP is one of the world's largest humanitarian organizations, and its mission has grown during the pandemic.

  • It began to fly medical workers and supplies all over the world after most other planes were grounded.
  • Beasley, meanwhile, has warned of a "hunger pandemic" as the pandemic's economic repercussions push tens of thousands of people into extreme poverty.
  • WFP received 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," per the committee.

Beasley was in Niger when he received the news. He described the scene during a congratulatory call from the Nobel Committee.

  • "I'm literally in a meeting in Niger and somebody walked in and said, 'the Nobel Peace Prize!' I said, 'yeah, what about it?' They said, 'we won!'" Beasley said he didn't believe it at first.
  • "I believe that what the committee has done today is give recognition to the fact that we can't forget about the poor, the needy, the vulnerable that are suffering around the world," he said.
  • "The message to the world is powerful, and the world needs a good message right now."

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

An inside look at Intuit's Mailchimp acquisition

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

When Mailchimp recently agreed to be acquired by Intuit for $12 billion, we noted how it was the richest sale ever of a private bootstrapped company. Now we know more about why the Atlanta-based email marketing company never took outside funding.

The big picture: Mailchimp founder and CEO Ben Chestnut tells Axios that it was all about timing.

"Noticias Telemundo" names Julio Vaqueiro as new anchor

Julio Vaqueiro. Photo: Noticias Telemundo

Emmy award-winning journalist Julio Vaqueiro will become the new anchor of "Noticias Telemundo," the network's daily Spanish-language evening newscast, Noticias Telemundo announced Thursday.

The big picture: Vaqueiro replaces José Díaz-Balart, who is returning to MSNBC later this month to host a new show as NBC seeks to add more diverse voices to its English-language news programs.

Al Gore's Climate TRACE finds vast undercounts of emissions

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A high-tech independent effort to track greenhouse gas emissions from every country, industrial facility and power plant announced its first results on Monday.

Why it matters: Climate TRACE utilizes satellite data, machine learning and artificial intelligence to determine greenhouse gas emissions globally. It aims usher in an era of "radical transparency" and a more enforceable climate agreement by giving nonprofits, governments and the UN actionable intelligence to track and crack down on polluters.

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