Archive for the ‘CanKor’ Category

NGO: Concern Worldwide

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

(h/t CanKor)  According tot he Concern Worldwide web page, they are engaged in the following projects in the DPRK:

Concern has recently begun work on an EU-funded programme in Phyongan province.

This work is focusing on sanitation and waste disposal in Hoichang town. We’re building water systems and improving sewage treatment systems and latrines in the area.

Over 55,000 people will benefit from this work.

Another EU-funded Concern programme is focusing on nutrition. We are aiming to increase sustainable food production in Hoichang and Koksan, and in two neighbouring cooperative farms. 

To do this, we are establishing urban greenhouses, irrigation systems and goat milk processing facilities. We are also working with locals to increase their technical and management skills.

This programme will benefit over 43,000 people.

Water works
An important part of our work is focused on water, sanitation and hygiene promotion.

Between 2004 and 2009, Concern provided 252,500 people in the country with clean drinking water. We did this by renovating pump stations and providing household connections. Key innovations have included gravity-fed water systems and the use of solar powered water pumping systems.
In addition, 46,800 people have benefitted from improved sanitation facilities, especially in institutions such as schools, kindergartens, nurseries and the county hospital.

In the rural communities where we work, our focus has been on halting deforestation and improving farming techniques.

We have provided 270,000 potted tree seedlings to three community-run nurseries. These potted seedlings grow quickly – in three to nine months – with undamaged root systems.

This is a major improvement on the more traditional bed-grown seedlings that were previously used. Traditional seedlings usually take one to three years to grow and often suffer from damaged roots.

As a result of the success of the potted seedlings, the Ministry of Lands and Environmental Protection is now keen to extend their use countrywide.

As part of our forestry work, we have also supplied nurseries with tools, pots and fuel.

Improving crops
With supervision from the Academy of Agricultural Research, we undertook a series of crop trials. We wanted to find out what types of crops could flourish on the lower slopes of hills and mountains.

The crops included new varieties of rice, sweet potato, sorghum, soya bean, millet, hybrid maize and ground nuts.

The trials were successful. There were positive results: the hybrid maize produced twice the normal yield; the millet produced standard yields using only half the normal amount of fertiliser. These crops are now being incorporated into the annual co-operative crop plans.

The ability to grow these crops on lower slopes will alleviate the pressure to produce crops on the higher steeper slopes.

Food production
Another EU-funded project aims at improving food production for people living on sloping land.

As part of this project, we are introducing conservation agriculture, which will increase yields, reduce soil erosion and reduce labour requirements to produce food.

We are also improving crop storage to reduce the post-harvest losses, and conducting crop trials for improved varieties of maize, winter wheat, soya bean, upland rice and potatoes.


CanKor on DPRK-Canadian assistance

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

According to CanKor Report #323, 2 June 2010:

North Korea began opening up to nongovernmental organizations in the 1990s, when severe food shortages forced it to seek outside aid. While both the famine of the mid-90s and the efforts to alleviate it got a good deal of press at the time, attention to this aspect of North Korea has fallen off in recent years as most press coverage now deals with the nuclear issues or questions of leadership succession. But while NGO activities may have dropped off over the last decade, a select few groups continue in their efforts to better the lives of ordinary North Koreans, despite all the limitations and difficulties they face in doing so.

CanKor has collected a partial list of nongovernmental organizations from the non-six-party talk countries currently engaged in humanitarian activities in North Korea. While some have been left out at their own request due to the politically sensitive nature of their work, we will endeavour to present regular updates on current or new projects in the DPRK. Readers are encouraged to write in and inform us of any activities we may report.

Featured Project:  Mennonite Central Committee

MCC has been engaged in the DPRK since the mid 1990s, the earlier years through the Canadian Food Grains Bank (CFGB) in partnership with other organizations to support the Food Aid Liaison Unit (FALU), and also together with other non-resident NGOs such as Caritas International, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), and Foods Resource Bank/Church of the Brethren Global Foods Crisis Fund to support sustainable agriculture and provide humanitarian assistance. Between 1995 and 2006, approximately $15 million in food and other material resources was sent to the DPRK by MCC.

Since 2006 and the dissolving of FALU, MCC has worked in the DPRK through its MCC NE Asia office. MCC has continued to send food and material resources to orphanages, initially via First Steps, and eventually in direct relationship. Soymilk production equipment was also provided to assist orphanages and soymilk production facilities to increase production of their own nutritional needs. MCC also sends food and material resources to tuberculosis hospitals and rest homes through its partnership with Christian Friends of Korea. Greenhouses have also been provided to enable these facilities to raise more of their own food needs.

Here   is a story on MCC’s partnership with First Steps in sending soybeans to orphanages in the DPRK and

Here   is a story on MCC’s cooperation with Christian Friends of Korea in sending food and other material resources to TB facilities.

Beginning in 2009, MCC is partnering with the Ministry of Agriculture in the DPRK on a three- year food security project. Given the success of conservation agriculture in other climatically-similar districts around the world, including Asia and Canada, this project aims to build longer-term food security at three cooperative farms and surrounding areas by increasing the scale of conservation agriculture practiced on each farm.

This is being done through the provision of technical support, training, specialized equipment and inputs. The program will benefit 12,287 residents on the three project farms. The total budget for the 3-year project is U.S.$1 million, with approximately 75% of the funding provided through CFGB and the remainder through individual donations to MCC. Click here   for a news release about the conservation agriculture project. In the interest of further engagement, MCC has also hosted delegations from the DPRK in both the U.S. and Canada, most recently an agricultural delegation to Canada in the fall of 2008. MCC also looks for ways to advocate DPRK engagement with Canadian and American governments. MCC seeks to share its resources in the name of Christ with those in need, placing emphasis on people-to-people relationships.

CanKor has more on NGOs here.