[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
UN to send food aid to flood-hit N Korea
North Korea says death toll from flooding between late June and end of last month has increased to nearly 170.
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2012 16:01
North Korea's agricultural sector has become increasingly vulnerable to floods due to deforestation [Reuters]

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has said it will send a first shipment of emergency food aid to impoverished North Korea, where a series of deluges and a typhoon have left hundreds of people either dead or missing.

The North's state media reported on Saturday that the death toll from flooding between late June and the end of last month had increased to nearly 170.

KCNA news agency said the number of missing people had risen to some 400, while 212,200 had been left homeless.

Emergency assistance

In a statement published on its website on Friday, the WFP said it would send emergency assistance comprising "an initial ration of 400 grams of maize per day for 14 days".

 North Korea's agricultural sector has become increasingly vulnerable to floods and drought

A United Nations mission which recently visited the affected regions found considerable damage to maize, soybean and rice fields, the WFP statement said.

KCNA reported on Saturday the floods had washed away 65,280 hectares of farmland. It added more than 1,400 educational, healthcare and factory buildings had also collapsed or damaged.

Since the mid-1990s, North Korea's agricultural sector has become increasingly vulnerable to floods and drought as a result of widespread deforestation.

In Geneva on Friday, UN agencies said access to North Korea had improved during the most recent flooding, indicating the country wants to ease its traditional isolation at least temporarily.

Still, it remains one of the world's most reclusive states, even after young leader Kim Jong-un inherited dynastic power from his father Kim Jong-il, who died in December.

A recent UN report classified 7.2 million of the country's 24 million population as "chronic poor", and said one in three children was stunted from poor nutrition.

343

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lacking cohesive local ground forces to attack in tandem, coalition air strikes will have limited effect, experts say.
Hindu right-wing groups run campaign against what they say is Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls into Islam.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
Muslim caretakers maintain three synagogues in eastern Indian city, which was once home to a thriving Jewish community.
Amid fresh ISIL gains, officials in Anbar province have urged the Iraqi government to request foreign ground troops.