The international Red Cross has earmarked US$5.6 billion to aid North Korea, down some 15 percent from a year earlier, a media report said Saturday.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies allocated the budget for 2014 to launch diverse projects on disaster management and sanitation for people in the impoverished communist country, according to the Voice of America.
Last year, the IFRC set aside $6.63 million for its projects in North Korea, and had expected to increase the amount by some 8 percent in 2014.
The report did not cite reasons for the budget reduction, with the IFRC not immediately available to comment.
Most of the resources will go to activities aimed at some 8.25 residents in the North's Pyeongan and Hamgyeong provinces, according to the report, with $1.96 million, or the largest share, to be earmarked for disaster management, $1.89 million for public health and $950,000 for providing clean drinking water.
Some 13 countries, such as Britain, Australia and Germany, have taken part in the Red Cross-led aid projects for the North. (Yonhap News)