Monday, 22 July, 2019

"Clear evidence of humanitarian need" in North Korea - U.N. aid chief

UN aid chief'Too much suffering in N Korea despite progress About 10.6 million people among the country's 25 million population need humanitarian aid
Deanna Wagner | 14 July, 2018, 12:40

The visit by Lowcock's delegation this week is the first by the OCHA since 2011, and follows a trip by UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman last December.

The UN's humanitarian chief, who wrapped up a three-day visit to North Korea this week, says the UN hopes to increase its humanitarian assistance to the country.

United Nations coordinator for humanitarian Affairs mark Lowcock on the results of his visit to the DPRK said that within 20 years the situation has improved, but the country still did not get rid of the "considerable challenges in the humanitarian field".

He found that around 20% of children in North Korea suffer from malnutrition, highlighting the need for more funding for humanitarian aid.

"So there are still significant humanitarian challenges here despite the progress that has been made", he said.

In rural areas, the infant mortality rate is 20 percent higher than in the cities.

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Because The United States has been paying a tremendous amount-probably 90% of the cost of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ... Overall, the U.S. provides about 22% of this budget based off a formula that accounts for the national income of member states.

At the moment, with the support of the governments of Canada, Sweden and Switzerland collected only 10% of the requested amount, said the representative of the United Nations. "My focus is on the humanitarian issues and the core humanitarian issues are around malnutrition, better water and sanitation, and more life-saving drugs and other medical supplies in hospitals like the ones I visited".

He met Kim Yong Nam, the nominal head of state and president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, on Wednesday, the North's state media said.

Although humanitarian supplies or operations are exempt under U.N. Security Council resolutions, U.N. officials have warned that global sanctions over North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs are exacerbating humanitarian problems by slowing aid deliveries.

It's expected that they discussed the progress made over the past 20 years. and more importantly, the humanitarian needs that still exist.

KCNA also said without specifying the date that Lowcock travelled to Unryul and Sinchon counties of South Hwanghae Province to observe "aid projects".

Choi Si-young, Arirang News.