DPRK needs immediate food aid following floods, says UN

Aug 3, 2012

Pyongyang  – The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) needs immediate food assistance after torrential rains caused flooding between 18-29 July, according to a United Nations assessment. Access to clean water and health care also remain high priorities to avoid disease outbreaks.

Almost 90 people have died and 63,000 are homeless, according to the Government. The floods have also caused severe damages to private dwellings, public buildings, infrastructure and agricultural fields.

The population in the three most affected counties—Anju City and Songchon, both in the western province of South Pyongan, and Chonnae in the southern province of Kangwon—are especially in need of food, the UN assessed.

The UN and non-governmental agencies are already providing food, medicine and other health items and will continue to respond according to the needs of the people of DPRK.

“While the physical damages in those counties already visited are evident, it is not possible for the UN and its partners to independently verify the figures provided by the Government on the extent and scope of these damages, nor is it possible to verify the numbers of injuries, casualties and numbers of homeless people,” according to the assessment released by the office of the UN Resident Coordinator and UN Development Programme (UNDP) Representative Jerome Sauvage.

“Although flood damages have been observed in maize, soy bean and rice fields, it is difficult to quantify the possible yield losses at this juncture,” the assessment adds.

In the next couple of months the UN will further assess the crop situation in the worst-affected areas.

The evaluation teams comprised of UN agencies working in DPRK, NGOs, the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) and the European Union’s Aid Cooperation Office. 

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