South Korea said Monday it will provide North Korea with $13.3 million in humanitarian aid, in another show of its resolve to separate inter-Korean military tensions from efforts to help the needy in the North.
The South has decided to offer $7 million worth of nutritional assistance to mother and child health services in the communist nation via the World Food Program (WFP), according to the unification ministry.
Seoul will also deliver $6.3 million to the World Health Organization (WHO) for its projects to ship essential medicine to the North, improve clinics and train related manpower there, it added.
"The government plans to tap the Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund for the aid," ministry spokesman Kim Eui-do told reporters.
It is the first time that South Korea has offered assistance to North Korea through the WFP since 2007, he said. Last year, the South used $6 million to support the WHO's project in North Korea.
Seoul's new aid program is apparently to follow up on President Park's ambitious "Dresden Declaration" in March.
On her trip to the former East German city, she vowed efforts to promote the "humanity, co-prosperity and integration" of the two Koreas as part of her administration's reunification vision.
At that time, Park unveiled plans to step up efforts to reach out to pregnant women, mothers and children in North Korea.
"I think the aid plan this time is closely related with the mother and child care projects (in the Dresden Declaration)," the ministry spokesman said. (Yonhap)