NKorea Appeals for Food Aid from Private Foundation

Dock workers unload sacks of wheat provided by the European Commission's humanitarian aid office. Photo by: Gerald Bourke / WFP

North Korea has appealed for food aid from a private international foundation and its network of associated aid agencies as the food situation in the reclusive Asian country continues to worsen and some donor countries have said they are still wary of resuming their aid programs there.

“As no less people including children in orphanages in Wonsan, Sariwon etc. and researchers in research institutions face a serious problem arising from lack of food, we are seeking food aid either from your foundation or international charities introduced by you,” the head of North Korea’s Economy and Trade Information Center said in an email to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, which is allied with some 500 aid agencies through its humanitarian news service, Alertnet.

The official, Hwang Hyon Chol, said the country needs up to 100,000 tons of food by the end of August, particularly rice, wheat, beans, maize and other cereals.

The appeal came as South Korea announced that it does not have immediate plans to resume its food aid operations in North Korea. The United States is similarly wary of resuming its aid to the reclusive country, citing the need to ensure that U.S. food aid would reach its beneficiaries and not be diverted by the government.

>> US Envoy Voices Concerns Over NKorea Food Aid Distribution

The European Union announced July 4 that it plans to donate €10 million ($14.5 million) worth of food aid to North Korea.

>> EU to Give $14.5M in Emergency Food Aid to North Korea

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.