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U.N. Agencies Appeal For $29.4M To Meet Health Needs In North Korea

“Five U.N. agencies appealed for $29.4 million to meet the most critical health and nutrition needs for the people of North Korea through the end of the year,” UPI reports (4/29). “The agencies in the DPRK — the World Food Programme (WFP), [UNICEF], the [WHO], the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) — remain seriously underfunded,” they said in a statement (.pdf), according to the U.N. News Centre (4/29). The U.N. “agencies may soon be forced to suspend their programs in North Korea if they do not urgently receive” the funding, Devex’s “Development Newswire” reports, adding that “the agencies stressed that so far they have only received 27 percent of the $147 million requested to finance their operations.” According to Devex, “$20 million would go to WFP, which has recently been forced to suspend production of fortified cereal and biscuits as well as reduce rations and cut distribution of critical food aid to young children in the western part of the country” (Santamaria, 4/30). “As a result of the persisting deficit, agencies are unable to respond effectively to the humanitarian needs in the country, they say,” the U.N. News Centre adds (4/29).