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UN food agency says lacks funds for North Korea program

October 03, 2014, 14:31 UTC+3 PYONGYANG
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PYONGYANG, October 3. /TASS/. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is trying to resolve problems over raising funds for an aid program in North Korea, the director of the FAO mission in Pyongyang said in an interview with TASS on Friday.

As part of a development and restoration program, the UN food agency, which relies on voluntary donations, is fulfilling eight projects in North Korea worth $10.1 million, Belay Derza Gaga said.

The chief of FAO mission has expressed regrets that since 2005 the funds for the North Korean aid programs raised from international donors have been dwindling “over political reasons.”

FAO mainly gets funds through the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which has earmarked $1 million this year. The agency has received the funding worth $100,000 from the European Union and another $230,000-package from a Sweden-based humanitarian group.

Gaga said FAO is facing a serious problem over transferring money to Pyongyang after a move by the state-controlled Bank of China in May to end all dealings with a key North Korean Foreign Trade Bank in line with the UN Security Council’s sanctions against the country.

The FAO headquarters is dealing with this problem, he said.

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