North Koreans starving to death

UN agency says millions will go hungry if donors fail to respond quickly.

    South Korea has resumed fertiliser and flood aid shipments to the North [EPA]

    "If donors do not respond to the request, millions of people are going to go hungry"

    Anthony Banbury, World Food Programme

    "If donors do not respond to the request, millions of people are going to go hungry," Banbury said on Wednesday after returning from a six-day trip to North Korea.
     
    North Korea had restricted the activities of aid agencies and pressured them to reduce foreign staff members in the country.
     
    Aid shipments
     
    The World Food Programme suspended aid in 2005 after Pyongyang, claiming adequate supplies, asked to shift the focus to economic development.
     
    The agency had argued that the abrupt switch would leave millions hungry.
     
    The programme was restarted in May last year after North Korea gave permission for food shipments to be channelled to 1.9 million citizens, a sharp drop from the 6.5 million it was feeding in previous years.
     
    South Korea has resumed shipments of fertiliser and food aid to the North, sending 300,000 tonnes of fertiliser on Tuesday.
     
    On Wednesday, it shipped a flood-aid package that includes food and concrete.
     
    The aid shipments resumed after Pyongyang agreed to shut down its main nuclear reactor by the 60-day deadline set during six-nation talks last month.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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