UN agencies urgently require $29 million to respond to critical and life-saving needsListen /
Five United Nations agencies have appealed for urgent funding to be able to meet the most critical and life-saving needs of the people of the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea (DPRK), in the areas of health and nutrition up to the end of the year.
The World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in North Korea, say their programmes remain seriously underfunded.
They say this year, a total of $147 million is needed to respond to key humanitarian priorities of which only 26 per cent has been received so far.
As a result of the persisting deficit, the UN agencies are unable to respond effectively to the humanitarian needs out of which the most critical and life-saving ones urgently require $29 million.
The agencies say that despite a slight improvement of the overall humanitarian situation over the last 12 months, the structural causes of people's vulnerability persist.
They note that external assistance continues to play a vital role in safeguarding and promoting the well-being of millions whose food security, nutritional status and general health would otherwise be seriously compromised.
According to the UN agencies, even though the imposed sanctions clearly exclude humanitarian assistance, a negative impact on the levels of humanitarian funding has been experienced. They say the dire funding situation leaves them and other humanitarian actors concerned about the continuation of their programmes in North Korea.
Donn Bobb, United Nations