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UNICEF used S. Korea donations to buy aid for NK: report

The UN Children’s Fund used contributions from South Korea to buy drugs and nutritional support for the vulnerable in North Korea, Radio Free Asia reported Thursday.

The South Korean government donated $8 million to the World Food Program and UNICEF early last month to support their work in North Korea. Some $3.5 million of the donation went to UNICEF.


In response to RFA’s question on how Seoul’s donations were being used, UNICEF’s East Asia and Pacific regional office communication specialist Shima Islam said the funds were spent to order emergency medical supplies to treat pneumonia, minor injuries and illnesses, as well as for nutritional support.

She did not, however, provide details on how much of the contribution had been spent, and in which parts of North Korea people would receive it.

The objective of the aid using the South Korean government’s donations is to prevent illnesses among children aged under 5, pregnant women and lactating mothers, and cut their mortality rate, according to Islam.

Islam also added that the UNICEF’s North Korea office does strong monitoring of how aid is distributed through regular on-site observations with the North Korean authorities.

The information obtained from the on-site visits helps improve UNICEF’s aid projects, Islam said.

By Kim So-hyun (