World Food Program Aiding North Koreans Hit by Floods and Landslides

Torrential rain in mid-July led to devastating floods and landslides in the central and southern regions of North Korea. Hundreds of people are dead or missing and tens of thousands of others have been left homeless. Many roads, bridges, and railway lines have been badly damaged. Preliminary estimates speak of harvest losses of as much as 90,000 tons of cereals. About 13,000 people in Songchon county in South Phyongan province are to receive 30-day rations of wheat flour and enriched vegetable oil from the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). The supplies come from an existing contingency reserve that was established as part of the agency’s two-year operation to combat nutritional deficiencies and improve food security in North Korea. That program aims to feed up to 1.9 million of the most vulnerable North Koreans, but the WFP received just 8 per cent of its June 2006 appeal for $102 million.