WFP reports slight rise in N.K. aid but still wide gap with target amount


International aid for North Korea has increased over the past few months, but is still far behind the amount needed to help the country in its recovery efforts, the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) said Monday.

A tally as of Sunday showed the relief agency received slightly more than US$16.25 million in assistance from donor nations, up from $12.7 million in November. But the total accounts for only 15.9 percent of the $102 million the WFP says it needs for its protracted relief and recovery operation (PRRO) in North Korea.

In November, the WFP received 12.43 percent of the target amount.

Russia remained the biggest nation donor with $5 million, putting up 4.9 percent of the desired aid.

Switzerland increased its offer to $2.57 million from $2.2 million in November, and Ireland to $640,000 from $319,000.

The collected assistance includes $2.3 million carried over from the previous operation.

Private donations stayed the same at $8,470, while multilateral donation increased from $1.2 million to $1.9 million.

The WFP has been the main organizer of food aid to North Korea who, for the last decade, have depended on international handouts to feed its people. Pyongyang asked the relief agency to leave at the end of 2005, so the WFP now maintains a low-scale presence and has switched its efforts from food to development and reconstruction projects.

South Korean civic organizations and informed sources say there is now a contagion of infectious diseases like scarlet fever and typhoid in North Korea.


Comments are closed.