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José Andrés receives Courage and Civility Award

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Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, has awarded $100m prize to chef José Andrés for humanitarian work with World Central Kitchen

Bezos, the world’s richest man, announced the launch of the Courage and Civility award to recognise those who work to solve global problems, hours after he returned from his recent journey into space.

The award, he said, “recognises leaders who aim high and who pursue solutions with courage and who always do so with civility.”

“These are people who have demonstrated courage,” Bezos said. “It’s easy to be courageous, but also mean. Try being courageous and civil. Try being courageous and a unifier. That’s harder and way better and makes the world better.”

Van Jones, a CNN commentator and founder of the racial justice nonprofit Dream Corps, was named as a second recipient of the $100m award.

Time to be bold

Andrés launched World Central Kitchen (WCK), the non-profit organisation to provide humanitarian aid in places experiencing emergencies across the world, in 2021. In the years since, he and his team have provided relief to people trapped in natural disasters, from hurricanes to wildfires, and worked to

In the last couple of years WCK has stepped into provide food for people around the world, from India to Spain, suffering in the Covid 19 pandemic while more recently, the team was mobilised in Germany where floods ravaged parts of the country.

On receiving the award, Andrés expressed a message of hope and determination. “To the people of the world making food a bright light in dark times: thank you from the bottom of my heart. No single donation or gesture by itself can end hunger. But today we write a new chapter — no action too small, no idea too bold, no problem too big for us to solve together,” he said. “Let’s make sure we are wise in how we address the hunger issue and more important the food opportunity, we need to be bold and this is the moment to be bold.”

He said he wants to double food aid around the world while changing the way three billion people, mainly women, cook their food – from dirty cookstoves to clean cookstoves. “A plate of food is a plate of hope,” he said. “It’s the fastest way to rebuild life and communities.”

Tina Nielsen