UNICEF Concern at North Korean Food Shortage

UNICEF Australia are showing deep concern for the estimated 6 million people in North Korea who are suffering from a severe food shortage. Due to political and economic isolation, North Korea is more susceptible to food crises than many other countries. Add that to last year’s flooding in North Korea’s main rice region, causing a particularly poor harvest, UNICEF officials feel now is the time to step in and help before it is too late.

CEO of UNICEF Australia, Dr Norman Gillespie, said –

North Korea is in the midst of a massive food shortage and UNICEF is on the ground assisting those in desperate need with food, health, education and clean water. If no action is taken now, 88,400 children who are now moderately malnourished are in danger of becoming severely malnourished. Many families are reported to have only two meals a day and their diet lacks the variety needed for good nutrition, with very little meat or fat. Stunting rates among young children are very worrying and  have been reported as high as 40 per cent in rural areas and 20 per cent in urban settings.

Alongside the flooding, an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease created even more problems in the harvesting of crops, leaving many people in North Korea hungry and susceptible to disease. A lack of  sanitation facilities has seen diseases like tuberculosis its their ugly head, as existing health services struggle to tackle the problems caused by malnutrition.

UNICEF Australia children’s charity is calling on the international community to raise $20 million to help the people of North Korea and provide front line support for those that are in desperate need of food and sanitation. With up to 6 million people suffering, now is the time to make a concerted effort to help those most effected by this catastrophe, and help the people of North Korea in their hour of need.

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