The food situation for North Korean people improved slightly last year thanks to increased food rations and more outside support, a report by the World Food Programme said Friday.
According to the WFP report, about 46 percent of North Korean families consumed an “acceptable” level of essential nutrients in the October-December period of 2013.
About 17 percent were categorized as having “poor” food consumption, while the rest, about 38 percent, were defined as at the “borderline” level.
The report is based on a WPF survey of 119 North Korean families as well as the food agency’s interviews with North Korean authorities.
The 2013 figures mark a modest improvement from a year ago, when a similar WPF report put only 26 percent of North Koreans in the relatively well-to-do “acceptable” bracket.
About 50 percent were at the “borderline” level, while 24 percent were ranked as “poor” in the report on the food situation in the fourth quarter of 2012.
The better outcome in 2013 is attributable to more generous food rations as well as WFP‘s continued nutritive support, the report noted, adding that the daily food rations for each North Korean grew to 390 grams in October last year, before further raising to 400 grams in the following two months.
Fewer North Koreans are expected to suffer food shortages in the first quarter of 2014, the report predicted, citing protein as the most needed nutrient for North Korean citizens.