NK's flood restoration work goes against humanitarian priorities

By a2017001
  • Published : May 17, 2017 - 11:13
  • Updated : May 17, 2017 - 11:13

The United Nations has raised questions over the way North Korea restored flood damage last year, pointing out that it put more emphasis on building and infrastructure reconstruction than flood victims, a US broadcaster said Tuesday.

The North's flood restoration went against the traditional post-disaster patterns, Voice of America said, citing a report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs on its after-action review on rehabilitation projects in North Hamkyong Province.

Flood restoration in North Hamkyong Province (Yonhap)

Last summer, six areas in the province in the North were devastated by heavy rains accompanied by Typhoon Lionrock, with the UN calculating that almost 70,000 people were displaced, 30,000 houses damaged and more than 27,000 hectares of agricultural land submerged.

The North focused on physical reconstruction, "deploying all available resources to this effect," which ran counter to the international community's humanitarian priorities, the report pointed out.

"While international relief agencies released stocks from warehouses quickly, the onward delivery and distribution, for which local authorities were responsible, was delayed," the report said.

The North Korean government provided detailed information about damage to buildings and infrastructure, but not yet to internationally accepted standards, including information on the affected population, it added. (Yonhap)