North Korea faces under-nutrition despite better harvests

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Cooking a meal of broken rice and wheat in DPR Korea.

Children in North Korea continue to suffer from malnutrition despite an increase in the production of staple food, according to two United Nations agencies.

The World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization recently conducted a crop and food security assessment in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The results of the survey show that for the second year running, there has been an improvement in the production of staple food in the country.

Spokesperson for the WFP in Bangkok, Thailand, Marcus Prior, says the survey also highlights an ongoing struggle to address under-nutrition, especially among young children.

"One of the more concerning sides of the assessment's findings is that the soy bean production is down 30 per cent this year, largely as a result of the prolonged dry spell earlier in the agriculture season. Soy beans, of course, are crucial to provide many of the missing elements in the typical diet in the DPR Korea which is missing significant amounts of fats, proteins and oils. And this is our concern that there are still too many young children who are growing up on a very inadequate diet and, as a result, continue to suffer from malnutrition."

(Duration: 31")

According to the Joint Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission, about 2.8 million people face food insecurity in North Korea.

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November 2017
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