From 29 August to 31 August 2016, heavy rains fell in North Hamgyong Province, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). More than 300mm of rain were reported in just two days, causing flooding of the Tumen River and its branches in this region around the Chinese-DPRK border. (IFRC, 3 Sep 2016)
As of 23 September, there have been 138 deaths reported, with a further 400 people missing and presumed dead. The number of injured people remains unknown. At least 140,000 people have been severely affected across six counties in the province of North Hamgyong in the northeast of the country. Over 30,000 houses have been damaged, submerged or completely destroyed and close to 70,000 people remain displaced. (IFRC, 23 Sep 2016)
As of 11 October, around 600,000 people need some form of assistance. The Humanitarian Country Team is supporting the Government’s response, and has released a DPRK Flood Emergency Response Plan targeting 600,000 people in: food security; nutrition; shelter; health; water, sanitation and hygiene; and education. The Country Team is requesting US$28.9 million to respond to humanitarian needs over the next six months. (OCHA, 11 Oct 2016)
Damage from the flooding included more than 35 500 houses, more than two-thirds of which were completely destroyed. Some 16 000 hectares of arable land was also inundated. Although floodwaters have now receded, humanitarian needs, particularly for basic relief supplies, remain immense in the worst-hit province: North Hamgyong, near the Chinese border. (ECHO, 20 Dec 2016)
The water purification, pumping and supply systems has been damaged by the floods, increasing the risk of water-borne diseases and significant risks of outbreaks of communicable diseases. Diarrhea and acute respiratory infections, particularly among the affected children, pregnant women and the elderly remain a concern. The Government has mobilized volunteers to assist in the rescue and relief operations as well as requested support from the international community residing in the country for roofing materials to rebuild houses, schools, clinics and kindergartens which are in short supply. (UNICEF, 30 Nov 2016)
On 19 November the Government of DPRK (GoDPRK) announced that their rehabilitation activities have been completed for the affected population. The GoDPRK reported a total of 11,928 families were relocated into new housing units and were provided with winter clothes, heating and basic household materials. The report goes on to conform that 57 kindergartens and nurseries, 13 hospitals, 18 kilometres of river embankment, 131 kilometres of road and 318 hectares of arable land have been rehabilitated. The GoDPRK reports distributing medical supplies and education materials for schools and announced that for the total rehabilitation approximately 370,000 people were mobilized (140,000 soldier builders + 230,000 civilians) from across the country to support the efforts. (IFRC, 5 Jan 2017)
Aid organisation CARE International today issued a new report highlighting the top ten most underreported humanitarian crises of 2016.
The report, Suffering in Silence, features food crises in Eritrea, Madagascar, North Korea and Papua New Guinea; conflicts in Burundi, Lake Chad Basin, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Sudan and last year’s monsoon floods in Bangladesh.
WFP reached 680,249 people in December with nutrition assistance, including in flood affected counties.
Fortified biscuit rations were reduced in December due to projected assistance breaks tied to funding shortfalls (flood-affected areas were exempt).
The government-provided Public Distribution System (PDS) ration in December was an average of 400 grams per person per day. This is higher than the 380 gram ration in November and meets approximately 69 percent of daily caloric requirements.
Summary of major revisions made to the Emergency Plan of Action:
This Revised Emergency Appeal seeks 7,421,586 Swiss francs (reduced from 15,199,723 Swiss francs) to enable the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Red Cross Society (DPRK RCS) in delivering assistance and support to 330,000 people (82,500 households) affected by the floods for 12 months. The operation will focus on health; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); shelter (including household non-food items); disaster risk reduction (DRR) and National Society capacity building.
The protracted humanitarian situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) continues to be characterised by food insecurity, limited access to health and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), resulting in chronic malnutrition and poor health outcomes. In 2016, life-saving interventions continue to complement national efforts to deliver basic services. In addition, recurring natural hazards such as floods and drought, including the impact of the 2015 El Niño phenomenon, have exacerbated existing vulnerabilities.
In anticipation of a break in assistance at the end of April 2017, WFP has reduced fortified biscuit rations. The reduction will not be implemented in the flood-affected areas in the north of the country.
A joint mission visited the flood-affected areas in the north in November. Needs continue to be high for essential medicines and nutritious food to prevent malnutrition and outbreaks of disease.
In 2016, EM-DAT preliminary data indicates that 301 country level disasters occurred, affecting 102 countries. The impact of which sums up to a total of 7,628 deaths, 411 million affected people, and US$97 billion of economic damages.
By Simon Nazer
Late August’s floods in North Hamgyong, DPR Korea tore the lives and homes of thousands of families apart. Flash floods washed away entire towns, buried schools under mud and destroyed water stations. Choe Un Sim was one of the many people who saw her house washed away and thought it was the end.
Bangkok, 20th December, 2016 – The European Commission is allocating € 300 000 in humanitarian aid funding to ensure the continued distribution of life-saving relief items to families affected by the recent large-scale flooding in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Favourable weather conditions at start of 2016/17 early cropping season
Main season cereal crops in 2016 partially recovered from last year’s reduced level
Higher cereal imports in 2015/16 marketing year (November/October)
Floods in late August negatively impacted livelihoods and food security of affected households
Favourable weather conditions at start of 2016/17 early cropping season
MCC partners in Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), also known as North Korea, work to ease suffering of thousands affected by flooding and landslides in northern counties.
By Rachel Bergen
WINNIPEG, Man. – MCC’s partners in Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), also known as North Korea, are working to provide relief assistance for the hundreds of thousands of people affected by flooding and landslides in the isolated country.
13 December, 2016. Beijing - Concluding a ten day visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Mr. Tadateru Konoé, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), has warned that the humanitarian needs of thousands of flood survivors in the northeast of the country must not be overlooked.
Ongoing conflicts continue to intensify food insecurity
Global agricultural prospects are improving but lean seasons loom in near future
8 December 2016, Rome - Civil conflict and weather-related shocks have severely stressed food security in 2016, increasing the number of countries in need of food assistance, according to a FAO report. The new edition of the Crop Prospects and Food Situation report, released today, highlights 39 countries that are in need of external assistance for food.
A railway accident in North Korea blamed on poor track maintenance has killed at least 40 and injured hundreds more, North Korean sources say.
The Nov. 21 accident near Tanchon city in South Hamgyong province occurred as members of a construction labor force were returning from work in flood-damaged areas along the Tumen River bordering China, one source told RFA’s Korean Service.
(Pyongyang, 28 November 2016): Three months after devastating floods hit the North Hamgyong province of DPR Korea, almost 12,000 families whose homes were destroyed have moved into new houses.
According to local authorities new homes for 11,928 families have been built and repairs were made to another 17,698 households. At the same time international agencies have been providing flood-affected people with food, shelter, medicines and water and sanitation relief to meet the most immediate needs, as well as educational supplies, warm winter clothing and household items.
WFP assisted 823,687 people in October, including through nutrition support, flood recovery assistance and food in exchange for rehabilitation activities.
In October, WFP staff conducted 69 monitoring to 20 counties and nine provinces, as well as five visits to Food for Disaster Risk Reduction activities in five counties.
The monthly Public Distribution System (PDS) ration in October was an average of 380 grams per person per day, higher than the 300 grams ration in September.
Some 12,000 North Korean families have moved into newly built homes in flood-ravaged North Hamgyong Province, the North's official Korean Central News Agency said Monday.
The Unification Ministry here estimates that around 15,000 homes were destroyed in the recent floods in the North and some 37,700 households were affected by the disaster.
But the regime also found the money and manpower to make life more agreeable for leader Kim Jong-un. A private road is being built in the province so Kim can get to his summer homes there, according to a source.