Tuesday, September 13, 2016

WFP issues emergency aid to over 140,000 North Korean flood victims

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has provided food assistance to over 140,000 North Koreans affected by recent flooding in the northeast of the country, according to a press release on Tuesday.

Flooding and heavy rains caused by a typhoon in late August have continued into September, further exacerbating the number of civilians displaced and without basic provisions.

“To meet food needs, WFP immediately distributed an emergency food ration of fortified biscuits, for seven days, and soybeans, enough for 30 days, to reach 44,000 people,” the WFP press release read.

“Following an inter-agency assessment of the affected areas, WFP rapidly distributed the same emergency ration to reach an additional 96,000 people,” it added.

The WFP also said it was concerned about the “continued vulnerability” of the affected population due to the approaching winter and food shortages in the country.

“The North of the country will shortly see the onset of a typically severe winter when temperatures can plunge below -25° C. These families need continued support to get through the worst of the winter,” the press release quoted Darlene Tymo, the WFP’s Representative and Country Director in DPRK, as saying.

North Korea state media and UN bodies have been continually updating the numbers of killed, displaced and affected since the flooding began.

On September 11 the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) published figures that put the death toll at 133, while it said that up to 107,000 had been displaced so far.

“More than 35,500 houses have been damaged, 69 percent of which have been completed destroyed, and a further 8,700 buildings, including schools and public buildings, have been damaged,” the OCHA said on Sunday...

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