95.3 / 88.5 FM Grand Rapids and 95.3 FM Muskegon
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

U.N. World Food Programme's Beasley recipient of 2023 Vandenberg Prize

 David Beasley
World Affairs Council of Western Michigan
World Affairs Council of Western Michigan
David Beasley, former Executive Director U.N. World Food Programme

The World Affairs Council of Western Michigan honored David Beasley, former Executive Director of the World Food Programme with its fourth Vandenberg Prize. The event held Tuesday at Grand Rapids’ Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

The former Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme, David Beasley served a five-year term on a mission to end global hunger. Last year, the organization served 160 million people.

“When you’re out there in 80 or more nations feeding hundred of millions of people, you see the reality on the ground. You see the division, the war, the conflict, and I saw that food can be a weapon of peace.”

Beasley’s dedication resulting in the World Food Programme receiving the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize. Beasley served the U.N.s World Food Program during what he described in his farewell address, “unprecedented global hunger crisis sparked by a perfect storm of conflict, climate change, COVID-19 and now exacerbated by the war in Ukraine and soaring global food prices.”

A straight shooter committed to the principle that love conquers all, the former South Carolina governor shared with me his answer to the comment he often hears, ‘Why should I send money to third world nations when pressing issues need funding at home?’

“It will cost you a thousand times more if you don’t address and help the people where they are. Because three or four things will happen. Number one you’ll end up with starvation and death. You’ll end up with destabilization of nations and mass migration.”

It's apropos Beasley is now the recipient of the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan’s Vandenberg Prize named in honor of Grand Rapids native U.S. Senator Arthur Vandenberg who was instrumental in the creation of the United Nations.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.