ROK aid group to send food to DPRK

According to the AFP:

A South Korean aid group said Tuesday it would send 300 tons of flour and other supplies to needy North Koreans this week amid reports that dire food shortages are worsening.

A ship carrying 60 containers of food, daily supplies and educational needs such as pencils will leave the western port of Incheon Saturday, said the Join Together Society.

“The shipment will benefit some 12,000 marginalised people at 50 orphanages and other institutions across the country,” society spokesman Seo Dong-Woo told AFP.

It includes 300 tons of wheat flour, 360,000 packs of soy milk and other foodstuffs, enough to feed 12,000 people for three months, he said, declining to disclose the cost.

South Korean officials and aid groups say the already severe food shortages are expected to worsen this year after a poor grain harvest in 2009.

A bungled currency revaluation last November has reportedly played havoc with distribution networks, aggravating food shortages and sparking inflation.

North Korea has relied on foreign aid to feed its people since a devastating famine in the 1990s killed hundreds of thousands.

Overseas donations for programmes run by the UN’s World Food Programme and others have fallen sharply because of the standoff over the North’s nuclear and missile programmes. Pyongyang has also rejected some aid.

South Korea’s government has since 2008 suspended annual shipments of fertiliser and food to the North amid rising tensions, but private aid groups continue to send shipments.

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S.Korean aid group to send food to North
Associated Free Press


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