WFP suffering severe shortage of donations for N. Korea aid

From Yonhap

The leading U.N. relief agency still has only 12 percent of the donations it needs to help North Korea, with Russia being the largest contributor, according to its latest resources update.

The World Food Program (WFP) tally from Thursday showed that of the US$102 million required for recovery assistance for vulnerable groups in North Korea, it has received $12.7 million, or 12.43 percent of the targeted amount.

In addition to Russia, which in March donated $5 million, Switzerland pledged $2.2 million, Cuba $864,000, Australia $763,000 and Ireland $319,000.

Private donations totaled $8,470 and multilateral contributions stood at $1.2 million.

The available coffers include the $2.3 million carried over from previous relief operations in North Korea.

The WFP has been giving dire warnings about the shortfall in North Korea aid, which it said will run out in January unless more donations come in.

James Morris, the agency’s outgoing chief, told the WFP executive board session in Rome earlier this week that the operation in North Korea “is dramatically underfunded.”
“If we are to continue, and you overwhelmingly have said you want us to stay there and want us to be helpful in addressing the humanitarian agenda, we are going to need some help,” he said.

“Otherwise, come February, we will be out of business.” The WFP has been in North Korea for a decade, distributing food throughout the country in emergency relief. But Pyongyang asked it to leave at the end of last year, claiming it had enough bumper crop and food aid from outside the agency to sustain itself.

The WFP has since curtailed its presence and the scale of it relief programs in the North.


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