Archive for the ‘Concern’ Category

Concern (Irish NGO) suspends DPRK operations

Monday, April 8th, 2013

According to the Irish Times:

Irish NGO Concern has temporarily suspended its aid work in North Korea due to the increasing threat of war. The suspension takes place with immediate effect due to fears over staff safety.

The non-governmental organisation has 14 workers in the area. Eleven of them are from North Korea, while there are also three international workers from Nepal, India and Sweden. The only Irish Concern employee in the area left a number of months ago.

Concern’s overseas director of aid Paul O’Brien said the organisation had a meeting with the Department of Foreign Affairs last week, where the decision was made.“Two of our international staff are outside the area now and we can’t really function without them. We will return to work once it settles down there,” he said.

Mr O’Brien said he hopes things will settle in the country by the time former leader Kim Il-Sung’s birthday takes place on April 15th. The birthday is celebrated as a public holiday where North Koreans celebrate the life of their “Eternal President”, who died in 1994.

Read the full story here:
Concern suspends North Korea operations
Jason Kennedy


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.