Federation Expands Aid to North Korea
increase to more than 700,000 following a two-week assessment mission to the country. The expanded operation, which will
begin in July, will also cover four more counties - Anju, Sunchon, Kujang and the industrial town of Wonsan - in addition to
the 15 where the Federation is currently active.
"We have the experience and the manpower to reach more people, but until now we have lacked the funding," says Geoff
Dennis, the leader of the Federation assessment team. Recent donations from the South Korean Red Cross and others have
substantially increased the capacity of the Federation to respond.
The Federation has been assisting 139,000 people in North Korea since November 1995, after floods left hundreds of
thousands of people homeless and short of food. The disaster was compounded by further floods in 1996.
The assessment team noted visible food shortages. Public food distribution has been reduced to 100-150 grams per person per
day and most warehouses are empty. The team saw malnourished and sick children and said people were cooking roots and
tree bark to supplement their diet.
As the health system has come to a complete standstill, the International Federation is planning a programme to provide
medicines and equipment to primary health care facilities in 19 counties. The Federation will also help the North Korean Red
Cross establish a three-year disaster preparedness programme.
The International Federation is the world's largest humanitarian network, with Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in 171
countries as members.
For further information or to arrange interviews please contact :
Jón Valfells, Head, Media Service
(41 22) 730 4374
Marie-Françoise Borel, Information Officer
(41 22) 730 4346
Helge Kvam, Information Officer
(41 22) 730 4214
=A9 1996 International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies