Underfunded WFP cuts nutrition program for N. Korea: report
Published : 2014-06-19 10:02
Updated : 2014-06-19 10:02
The World Food Programme (WFP) has decided to curtail its nutrition program for North Korean babies and pregnant women by about 30 percent due to a lack of funding, a U.S. report said Thursday.
The WFP is operating the two-year nutrition program worth
US$200 million in North Korea through 2015, targeting 2.4 million children under the age of 5 as well as pregnant women.
But a lack of funding seemed to lead the U.N. food agency to decide to reduce the operation of its nutrition program, according to Radio Free Asia (RFA).
The WFP's total budget for its humanitarian aid to North Korea reached $137.5 million, down about 30 percent from its original plan, according to the report, it added.
The number of North Korean children and pregnant women who benefited from the WFP's program reached some 840,000 last month, far below the agency's target.
Ertharin Cousin, the executive director of the WFP, said in late May in Seoul that its nutrition program stands at a "very crucial juncture," adding that it had received only 20 percent of the funding required to implement the program.
The North has relied on international handouts since 1995 to help feed its people suffering from chronic food shortages.
The WFP's humanitarian aid to North Korea reached $26.56 million last year, compared to $86.94 million in 2012, according to the U.N. food agency.
In November, the agency said that food production in the North is estimated to have been 5.03 million metric tons in 2013, up 5 percent from the previous year. (Yonhap)