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UMCOR continues efforts to assist famine victims

InterAction, a coalition of 150 humanitarian groups -- including the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) -- has called upon the U.S. government to take urgent action and prevent a major famine among North Korea's 23 million people.
The United Nations has estimated a food shortfall there of up to 2.3 million tons, enough to feed 12 million people for a year.

UMCOR, which has a U.S. license

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North Korea food crisis - 27 January 1997 News Briefing

CWS member denominations have either contributed or have pledged $90,000 toward a $150,000 goal for the purchase of barley seeds in North Korea. This is part of a $500,000 appeal issued Dec. 23, 1996 (Emergency Account #7633U):

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).......$15,000
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)..................$50,000
Reformed Church in America....................$5,000
United Church of Christ..........................$20,000

In addition, the Church of the Brethren has designated $35,000 toward the appeal through Mercy Corps, an international

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Food Aid to North Korea

An InterAction Press Statement
North Korea's 23 million people are in the throes of a life-threatening food shortage that could take on famine proportions in the months to come. The UN World Food Programme estimates the food shortfall to be 2.3 million metric tons -- an amount equal to full feeding for 12 million people for a year. Predictions are that severe malnutrition will begin by May unless relief is sent. The next harvest begins in late September in the southern portion of North Korea, leaving five very lean months of coping for vulnerable groups in the North Korean population.
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US, Allies Discuss N. Korea Contingency Plans

TOKYO (Reuter) - The United States, Japan and South Korea have been discussing contingency plans in the event of a ''crisis'' in famine-stricken communist North Korea, a senior Japanese government official said Tuesday.

The official said reclusive North Korea, gripped by famine after two consecutive years of flooding, could run out of food within several months.

''Japan, the United States and South Korea have been exchanging information on the situation in North Korea,'' the official told Reuters in an interview.

''I would say we (the three countries)

Reuters - AlertNet:

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S.Korean Red Cross to Resume Food Aid to North

SEOUL (Reuter) - The South Korean Red Cross Monday said it would resume food shipments to North Korea this month for the first time since an incursion by a Northern submarine froze desperately-needed aid to the communist nation.

"We are shipping 300 ton of flour bought from donations by the Korean National Confederation of Churches," a Red Cross official said.

The announcement follows a Japanese news report that Washington is so worried North Korea is running out of food it is consulting Asian friends about an emergency rescue passage.

Reuters - AlertNet:

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UNDP Supports Food Programme in DPRK


UNDP and the DPRK have initiated a "double cropping" agricultural programme to increase harvests and food security in the country and to help diversify agricultural crops. DPRK suffered severe food shortages following the 1995 and 1996 floods that hit the western part of the country. UNDP recently contributed $300,000 for the purchase of 250 tons of high-yield barley seeds to be planted on nearly 2,000 hectares of land this March, in time for harvesting in June. UNDP also supplied over 500
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U.S. Treasury Okays Food Export to N. Korea

WASHINGTON (Reuter) - The U.S. Treasury has given a Minneapolis firm permission to export 500,000 tons of food to North Korea, a U.S. official said Monday, a week after the Communist nation apologized for a submarine incursion into South Korean waters.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said permission was given to Cargill Inc., one of the world's largest private grain traders, to make the export in a barter transaction with famine-struck North Korea.

Cargill Spokeswoman Laurie Johnson declined to say if the company was interested in such a barter deal. She said

Reuters - AlertNet:

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WFP Emergency Report No. 01 of 1997: Democratic People's Republic of Korea

This is an excerpt of the original WFP report which includes: A) Democratic People's Republic of Korea B) Burundi, Rwanda, Zaire and Tanzania C) Ethiopia D) Afghanistan.
(Details below in Part II)


1. Update

a) Continued food shortages in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) due to floods compounding underlying agricultural production problems. FAO/WFP mission has assessed total