DPR Korea willing to accept emergency aid for flood victims, says UN food agency

18 August 2006
Food distribution in the DPR of Korea

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has agreed to accept emergency rations to help the victims of last month’s devastating floods and landslides in the central and southern regions, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced today.

About 13,000 people in Songchon county in South Phyongan province will receive 30-day rations of wheat flour and enriched vegetable oil as a result of the decision, WFP said in a statement issued in Pyongyang.

Hundreds of people are dead or missing and tens of thousands of others have been left homeless by the floods and landslides, which followed a period of torrential rains in the North Asian country in mid-July. Many roads, bridges and railway lines have been badly damaged.

As many as 90,000 tons of cereals have been lost from this year’s harvest as well, according to preliminary estimates.

Michael Dunford, WFP’s acting Country Director for the DPRK, said: “We are very willing to help those unfortunate victims of the recent floods, who lost so much. We stand ready to provide additional assistance based on demonstrated need.”

The WFP rations being distributed in South Phyongan province come from a contingency reserve established as part of WFP’s two-year operation to combat nutritional deficiencies and improve food security in the DPRK.

This programme aims to feed up to 1.9 million of the most vulnerable North Koreans, but since an appeal was launched in June, the WFP has received just 8 per cent of the $102 million it needs.


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