North Korea faces acute food shortage: UN

AgenciesUpdated: Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 08:11 PM IST
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Seoul: The UN said on Monday that North Korea was facing an acute food shortage and the country was in  urgent need of humanitarian assistance. David Beasley, the head of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), appealed for donations to resolve the crisis and vowed that he would ensure that the aid reaches the people there, reports Efe news.

Beasley was in Seoul to meet South Korean Minister of Unification Kim Yeon-Chul and discuss the findings of a recent joint report by the WFP and the Food and Agriculture  Organization on the critical food situation in  North Korea. The report stressed that some 10 million North Koreans (40 per cent of its population) face an imminent shortage of food, especially in the summer months preceding the next big harvest, due to the worst agricultural yield in a decade.

“We are very concerned about the situation there, and we are hopeful that we can come up with some solutions,” Beasley told the media here. The meeting comes after the South Korean government last week expressed its intention to provide food aid to its neighbour.

In 2017, the South Korean government approved an aid package for the North valued at $8 million to be channelled through international agencies, although the package is yet to be sent due to the lack of progress in denuclearisation talks. The last time Seoul sent food assistance (5,000 tonnes of rice) to Pyongyang was in 2010.

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