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Int‘l Red Cross spends $268,000 to help N. Korea fight food insecurity


The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies spent $267,700 on one of its projects last year to help North Korea fight food shortages amid unfavorable weather conditions, the federation said in a recent report.

The money was spent on deploying mobile water pumps, training farmers on the use and maintenance of the device and procuring spare parts in the face of little rainfall, it said in the final report on the operation to combat North Korea’s drought and food insecurity.

“Entering 2019, DPRK experienced unusually erratic weather conditions with little precipitation, limiting soil moisture for growth in winter and the planting of spring crops,” the report said. DPRK stands for the North‘s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. “It was clear that the need for irrigation support is urgent, especially to protect subsistence crops.”

Beginning in early May, the five-month project affected 424,952 people in the impoverished country, the report said.

“As drought is occurring more frequently due to climate change and it has become the major disaster pattern” in North Korea, the federation said it is crucial for the North to have mobile water pumps in stock “to provide satisfactory service in case of drought.”

According to a joint report by the World Food Programme and the Food and agriculture Organization last year, North Korea‘s crop output in 2018 hit the lowest level in a decade, with an estimated 10 million people, or about 40 percent of its population, in urgent need of food. (Yonhap)