Rome, June 20 (IANS/AKI) The United Nations World Food Programme on Wednesday thanked South Korea for a ‘landmark’ donation of 50,000 metric tons of rice and $4.5 million in cash for over 10 million people risking hunger in drought-hit North Korea.
“North Korea has been hit hard by drought and poor harvests that have left millions of hungry children, women and men facing severe food shortages over the coming months,” said WFP Regional Director – Asia Pacific, David Kaatrud.
Food production in North Korea dropped dramatically last year, putting 10.1 million people at risk, according to a joint report by WFP and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation issued in May.
At least 300,000 metric tons of food, valued at $275 million, is needed to scale up humanitarian assistance in support of vulnerable people who have been hit hardest by “significant crop losses over successive seasons,” the Rome-based WFP stated.
High standards for access and monitoring must be in place before WFP can deliver food aid to needy North Koreans, the UN agency warned.