How Nobel Peace Prize winners have spent their money

Nobel medal. The European Commission will be spending its Nobel Peace Prize money on projects to help young victims of conflict worldwide. Photo by: Tim Ereneta / CC BY-NC

The European Commission will be allocating 8 million Swedish kronor ($1.18 million) for young victims of conflict worldwide.

The money forms part of the Nobel Peace Prize, which also includes a medal and a diploma. This year, the Nobel Prize Committee gave the award to the European Union, in recognition of the bloc’s efforts to advance peace and democracy in Europe. The European Commission formally accepted the award Wednesday (Nov. 14).

So how did previous Nobel Peace Prize laureates spend their money? Former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, who received the award in 2008, used the prize money to help fund the Crisis Management Initiative, a nongovernmental organization he founded that focuses on peace-building efforts.

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, recognized for his work on climate change in 2007, invested his winnings in the Alliance for Climate Protection, a nonprofit he established to educate the global community about the need to address climate change.

Economist Muhammad Yunus was awarded in 2006 for his efforts to use microfinance as a way to lift millions of women out of poverty. He used his prize money to set up Social Business Enterprise, a company offering low-cost nutritious food, and an eye hospital in Bangladesh.

“The Nobel Peace Prize stands for reconciliation throughout the world,” European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said. “The Prize money should benefit the first hope for the future, but also the first victims of present and past conflicts: children.”

Specific details on which projects the Nobel Peace Prize money will fund, and how eligible organizations can apply, will be released in coming weeks.

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This story has been updated to eliminate an erroneous statement about how U.S. President Barack Obama spent his Nobel Peace Prize money.

About the author

  • Adrienne Valdez

    Adrienne Valdez is a former staff writer for Devex, covering breaking international development news. Before joining Devex, Adrienne worked as a news correspondent for a public-sector modernization publication.