While the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) can expect better crop yields this season, about 6.4 million people in the country will still require outside food assistance to survive in the coming year, two United Nations agencies reported today.
A new assessment carried out by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) calls for mobilizing 512,000 tonnes of food aid to cover the anticipated food deficit facing the country’s vulnerable people.
The agencies document a “small improvement” in domestic food production, thanks to favourable rains, internationally provided fertilizer and pesticides, and the mobilization of resources for agriculture. At the same time, they caution that this recovery still leaves the country “well below the minimum food needs” to survive without external aid.
“The food deficit in DPR Korea remains in excess of 1 million tons each year since 1995,” the report states. “To deal with this chronic food shortage, it is recommended that in addition to providing urgently needed food aid, the Government and the international community enter into a policy dialogue to set an enabling framework to mobilize the economic, financial and other assistance needed to promote sustainable food production and overall food security.”