The World Food Prize Foundation

World Food Prize Foundation COVID-19 Statement


At the World Food Prize Foundation, the health and well-being of our valued staff, partners and interns are always our top priority. As we navigate the rapidly evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation together, the Foundation wants to share with you the extra precautions we are taking. 

On March 9, 2020, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency in response to 8 presumptive positive Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the state of Iowa. None of these individuals who tested positive reside in Polk County (the headquarters of the World Food Prize Foundation), and all are recovering in isolation. The current count of presumptive positive cases in the state of Iowa is now 13.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, the general public is unlikely to come into contact with coronavirus, therefore the immediate health risk is low. 

The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak raises a number of considerations both in terms of health and safety, and also practical operational considerations for the Foundation. Because local conditions, support from on-ground partners, and travel restrictions vary by country, state/province, city, school district and by program, the Foundation reviews these decisions on a program-by-program basis after careful consideration of all relevant factors.

The World Food Prize Hall of Laureates will remain open at this time and the Foundation will continue to monitor the situation closely. 

All travel to China for the organization has been suspended at this time, including travel to China for the Borlaug-Ruan International Internship.

Iowa state officials expect to see more cases of COVID-19 emerge in the coming weeks. The World Food Prize Foundation is prepared to continue practicing general prevention and obey any recommended travel restrictions and considerations from the CDC and U.S. State Department to countries where person-to-person transmission is being reported, including China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea.

Based on recommendations provided by the CDC, the World Food Prize Foundation has provided all of its employees with information on how the virus spreads, symptoms, and preventative measures to take. 

The CDC recommends practicing the following to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

  • Stay home when you are sick.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects.

  • Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds.

  • The CDC does not recommend face masks for the general public

Up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 can be found on the CDC website and the Iowa Department of Public Health website.

Please check back frequently on our website as we will continue to post developments related directly to our programs -

ABOUT THE WORLD FOOD PRIZE: The World Food Prize is the foremost international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. The Prize was founded in 1986 by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. Since then, the World Food Prize has honored 49 outstanding individuals who have made vital contributions throughout the world. The World Food Prize annually hosts the Borlaug Dialogue international symposium and a variety of youth education programs to help further the discussion on cutting-edge global food security issues and inspire the next generation to end hunger.



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