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UN needs $111mln to help North Korea

April 09, 2015, 5:10 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS
The money would go to implement the programmes related to food, the agriculture, health care, water supplies and sanitation in North Korea
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UNITED NATIONS, April 9. /TASS/. On Tuesday the United Nations has filed a request with states and private donators to urgently allocate $111 million for financing humanitarian operations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in 2015.

The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its press release that the money would go to implement the programmes related to food, the agriculture, health care, water supplies and sanitation in North Korea.

"The United Nations today called for some $111 million to fund its humanitarian operations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DRPK) in 2015," the OCNA said.

About 70% of the country’s population, or 18 million people out of its 24.6 million population, "are considered food insecure, and are not able to access an adequate and diverse nutritious diet to live healthily," the world organisation said adding that children under five were undernourished, with four percent out of them "actually malnourished," according to the research carried out by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2012.

"Under-nutrition is a fundamental cause of maternal and child death and disease. Health service delivery is inadequate, and many areas of the country are not equipped with sufficient facilities, equipment or medicines. Safe drinking water and inadequate sanitation services are a fundamental problem, contributing to high and chronic instances of diarrhoea, respiratory infections and waterborne diseases," the press release said noting serious problems in the North Korea’s agriculture triggered by a lack of seeds and fertilisers along with frequent natural calamities like floods.

The money the UN asks for will be allocated for financing programmes in these key sectors and will be disbursed to the World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

""It is vital that donors respond quickly and generously to allow aid agencies to address the humanitarian situation," UN Resident Coordinator Ghulam Isaczai said. "Humanitarian needs must be kept separate from political issues to be able to ensure minimum living conditions for the most vulnerable, especially women, children and the elderly."

In recent years the United Nations has sounded alarm over a difficult humanitarian situation in North Korea. The UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the DPRK claims that the food crisis in the country is artificial and is used as a tool of control over Koreans.

North Korea’s authorities refute the allegations calling them falsifications.

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