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UN Agency Lacking In Humanitarian Budget For North Korea


Last update: 11/11/2017

SEOUL, Nov 11 (Bernama) -- A United Nations agency in charge of reducing humanitarian suffering has secured only 30 per cent of its annual budget for humanitarian aid projects in North Korea this year, a broadcaster reported on Saturday.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported Radio Free Asia (RFA) saying that the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) aimed to raise US$113.5 million in 2017 to support various humanitarian activities in North Korea but has so far secured only US$33.9 million.

OCHA's budget shortage is serious as the secured amount represents only about 30 per cent of the target, RFA said, citing an OCHA report.

This year, UN bodies like the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and the World Food Programme, and seven countries namely Switzerland, Russia, Canada, Sweden, US, France and Liechtenstein -- participated in the North Korea-related humanitarian aid projects, according to the OCHA report.

Of them, CERF accounted for US$12.3 million, or 36.4 per cent, of the secured amount, while Switzerland donated US$5 million, or 14.8 per cent, it noted.

The RFA report said about US$29.6 million, or 78.6 per cent, of the international community's humanitarian aid for North Korea in the first 10 months of this year was spent on the provision of food and nutritional support products.

In addition, US$4.4 million was spent on improving the North's health services and another US$1.5 million was delivered to help improve its drinking water.

-- BERNAMA