Korea needs $111-M in humanitarian assistance to address malnutrition
The United Nations and its partners have requested $111 million in humanitarian funding to assist millions of people in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), including children whose growth has been stunted because they are not getting enough to eat.
“Humanitarian assistance is a vital lifeline for millions of ordinary people living in DPR Korea,” Tapan Mishra, UN Resident Coordinator in the north Asian country, said.
“However, funding has been rapidly declining every year, with less than one-third of the amount required for humanitarian programmes raised in 2017,” he added.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), more than 10 million people, or 40 percent of the DPRK’s population, are believed to need humanitarian assistance as insufficient intake of nutrition continues to be a serious concern with more than one-quarter of children stunted.
OCHA cited many complex, intertwined reasons for the high rates of undernutrition in DPRK, including, mountainous terrain, with only 17 percent of land good for cultivation, and farming largely reliant on traditional farming methods.
Further, changing weather patterns have left the country vulnerable to droughts and floods, which often result in low agricultural production.
“People also struggle to access basic services, with a large portion of the population living without a reliable source of safe water and almost a quarter without basic sanitation facilities, contributing to serious health concerns,” UN said.