North Korea Seeks Rice, Other Flood Relief Supplies

North Korea has reportedly requested rice, heavy equipment and cement a few days after South Korea’s Red Cross offered flood aid.

South Korea’s Red Cross offered an USD8.5 million humanitarian aid package of medicines, food items and other relief supplies last week to help North Korea recover from the flooding that affected the northwestern part of the country, as Devex reported.

North Korea’s Red Cross has responded to the offer, saying it preferred a shipment of rice, heavy equipment and cement, which it said were necessary for flood relief efforts, South Korea’s unification ministry said, according to The Associated Press.

South Korea is currently reviewing the request, the ministry added. The government would finance the bulk of the aid, if sent, according to a Red Cross official in South Korea.

Devex has reported that the South Korean government has yet to decide if it would continue giving rice to North Korea. South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak ceased the provision of rice aid to North Korea when he assumed office in 2008.

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    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.