North Korea’s aid needs next year, same as this year?

By Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein

Yonhap reports:

More than US$111 million will be needed for humanitarian assistance to North Korea next year amid international sanctions on the impoverished country, a U.N. report showed Wednesday.

The amount is similar to this year’s level targeted for 6 million people, according to the Global Humanitarian Overview 2019 released by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

While the number of people in need is expected to remain similar next year, sanctions imposed on North Korea will continue to constrain U.N. agencies and other humanitarian partners from providing assistance to the impoverished country, the paper said.

A total of 10.3 million people were estimated to be in need of humanitarian aid in North Korea in 2018, it said.

“While international sanctions clearly exempt humanitarian activities, they have unintentionally impacted humanitarian operations through a disruption of the banking channel, breakdown in supply chains and delays in transporting vital goods into the country,” the report said.

The funding for humanitarian aid to North Korea has decreased from $400 million in 2004 to $26.2 million as of November 2018, it said.

Article source:
U.N. says over US$111 mln required for humanitarian aid to N.K. next year
Yonhap News
2018-12-05

For the record: this is money that the North Korean regime has, but chooses not to spend on humanitarian needs.

It appears that the calculation of North Korea’s needs next year isn’t really a calculation, but just an assumption that conditions and needs will remain the same for the foreseeable future. This makes the estimate rather lacking in credibility, but given the strongly restricted access for humanitarian agencies to North Korea, they likely have little other choice but to repeat the most recent estimate.

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