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N. Korea faces serious humanitarian crisis: report

North Korean flag (AFP-Yonhap)
North Korean flag (AFP-Yonhap)
North Korea faces a serious humanitarian crisis due to food insecurity and limited health care, aggravated by global sanctions and the coronavirus, an international nongovernmental organization has said.

According to the latest Inform Severity Index report compiled by the Geneva-based Assessment Capacities Project (ACAPS), North Korea faces a "high" level of humanitarian crisis severity.

This represented the second-highest level of a six-tier crisis evaluation scale. The report also ranked North Korea among the countries with "high constraints" in humanitarian access.

"The humanitarian situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is driven by political and economic factors as well as natural hazards," the report said, using North Korea's official name.

"Chronic food insecurity and limited access to basic services, such as healthcare and clean water, have left more than 10 million people in need of humanitarian assistance," it said.

The report said that global sanctions have restricted the North's import of humanitarian goods and affected people's access to aid.

North Korea is believed to be suffering from chronic food shortages due to unfavorable weather conditions in recent years and the impact of global sanctions on its economy.

The North's strict measures against COVID-19, including the closure of borders, are also expected to have "long-term consequences" on its economy, the report said. (Yonhap)