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Flooding furthers North Korea’s need for food aid

North Korea appeals for food aid after massive flooding. Image credit: Reuters

Although recent media attention on North Korea has focused on its new first lady, the emergence of a significant humanitarian crisis has quickly replaced the sensational headlines.  Compounding recent reports of malnutrition among North Korean children and the “…[estimation] that two-thirds of North Korea’s 24m population suffer from a chronic shortage of food...” , the country suffered another blow recently when massive flooding destroyed crops, homes and water pumping stations.

To deal with the crisis, North Korea appealed to the United Nations for relief, and the World Food Programme (WFP) has stepped in to deliver needed food aid, providing “…emergency food assistance [to] flood victims with an initial ration of 400g of maize per day for 14 days.”

A report from The Christian Science Monitor indicates that the request for food aid and the increased access to the country for aid delivery might be a sign that the new government in North Korea might be moving away from its policies to restrict cooperation with outside agencies and countries.