North Korea need not fear famine after flooding says UN
Impoverished North Korea is a long way from famine levels that killed hundreds of thousands in the 1990s but it will not be until late next month that a full assessment of food levels aft er recent floods is possible, a UN official said yesterday.
North Korea’s state media said the death toll from flooding between late June and the end of July has reached at least 169, with some 400 people missing and 212,200 homeless. The floods have also washed away 65,280 hectares of farmland.
“Fortunately we are really quite far away from the situation in the mid-1990s,” said Claudia von Roehl, the UN World Food Programme’s representative in North Korea.
“But we should always be aware there is a very chronic and severe problem in the nutrition of the population and in particular the very monotonous diet, which basically is composed of maize and rice, carbohydrates, and lacking very significantly in proteins and fats,” she said.
North Korea suffered famine in the 1990s that killed an estimated million people.
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