UN in DPRK calls for US$198 million to respond to key humanitarian priorities

12 Jun 2012

Beijing - The United Nations (UN) has unveiled its plan to address critical humanitarian needs in 2012 in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The UN presented its Overview Funding Document (OFD) for 2012 to the international donor community in Pyongyang on 7 June and in Beijing on 12 June, which outlines the need for a total of US$ 198 million to respond to key humanitarian priorities.

“16 million people continue to suffer from chronic food insecurity, high malnutrition rates, and deep-rooted economic problems,” said the UN Resident Coordinator Jerome Sauvage. “Inadequate medical supplies and equipment make the health care system unable to meet basic needs, while the water and heating systems need to be rehabilitated.”

The focus for the UN is on mitigating the protracted crisis through a sustained humanitarian response that addresses immediate and intermediate needs, while also addressing some of the root causes of the vulnerabilities in order to build resilience and sustainable livelihoods.

The OFD describes the current situation and the efforts being made to improve it in food and nutritional assistance, agricultural support and interventions in the water, sanitation, hygiene and health sectors.

Around two million people in the most food insecure areas are currently receiving nutritious food assistance. About 10,300 children will be treated for severe acute malnutrition and 57,000 for moderate acute malnutrition. The cereal deficit for the 2011/12 marketing year was estimated at 739,000 metric tons leading to an uncovered cereal deficit of 414,000 metric tons.
 
“External assistance is still needed and continues to play a vital role in safeguarding and promoting the well-being of millions whose food security, nutritional status and general health would otherwise be seriously compromised,” said Mr. Sauvage.

In 2011, the UN called for $218 million to address humanitarian needs. Some $85 million was provided by donors, led by the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). Due to the lack of funds, humanitarian agencies are unable to effectively address the humanitarian needs.

“The UN in DPRK remains seriously underfunded. Provision of assistance must be based on the humanitarian principles: Humanity, Neutrality and Impartiality, and not be contingent on political developments,” said Mr. Sauvage.

“Separating humanitarian needs from political issues is a prerequisite for a sustainable improvement in the condition of people.”

The OFD is available at http://reliefweb.int/node/501396

Contact Information

UN Resident Coordinator’s office: unctdprk.kp@undp.org