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Seoul to fund $4.9m in UNESCAP aid for North Korea


The Unification Ministry on Wednesday said it will provide North Korea with $4.9 million in aid through a UN agency, to support enhancing the country’s statistics program. 

The decision to fund the project by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific was made during a civilian-government committee on inter-Korean exchanges. The project will last six years, and Seoul has set aside $720,000 for this year. It will pay the amount each year in installments based on the project plan. 

The UNESCAP has requested the South Korean government to fund its project to operate programs that could help North Korean citizens understand the global statistics principles and improve statistics application, the ministry explained. 

The money will be drawn from the inter-Korean cooperation fund, 1.2 trillion won ($973 million) national budget set aside for cooperation project with North Korea.

“We decided to provide the fund, with expectations that (the statistics educations) will contribute for North Korea to be integrated into the international community in the future and create a single unified market between the two Koreas,” the ministry said in a statement. 

The ministry said it will closely cooperate with UNESCAP for the project to be proceeded and check how the fund is used in North Korea by receiving an annual report from the UN agency every year. 

By Ahn Sung-mi (