Red Cross boosts livelihoods in DPRK with EU support

April 23rd, Beijing/Stockholm: The Red Cross Red Crescent will step up its work in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to boost people’s resilience in face of disasters and improve communities’ food security, using new funding from the European Commission.

The Commission grant of 500,000 Euros was made through the Swedish Red Cross to support projects in the Pukchang and Unsan districts of South Phyongan Province.

The EU-supported project will assist 25,000 people over 36 months, to improve livelihoods and resilience in face of disasters. “Natural disasters severely affect people in mountainous and lowland areas. In this project, the Red Cross will support increased resilience to disasters and provide them with an opportunity to grow a broader range of crops for improved nutrition,” says Nina Paulsen, Swedish Red Cross Head of Desk for DPRK.

The Red Cross EU funded programs include planting of woods and fruit trees to reduce erosion and landslides in vulnerable communities. The fruit harvest also provides important nutrients and vitamins and provides people with an incentive not to cut down the trees. The project will also build dykes to prevent floods from destroying homes and farmland and establishment of early warning systems and evacuation of people in time to avoid deaths and injuries.

“We will also build greenhouses for vegetables and assist with basic kitchen appliances, giving the most vulnerable villagers better access to vitamin-rich food to meet their daily needs,” says Nina Paulsen.

The project will be implemented in cooperation with the DPRK Red Cross, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Danish Red Cross, Finnish Red Cross, Norwegian Red Cross and Swedish Red Cross, along with contributions from other partners. The entire budget is EUR 740 000, of which EUR 500 000 is funded by the European Commission.

For further information and to set up interviews contact:

In Beijing:

Francis Markus, IFRC communications delegate for East Asia

Mobile: +86 139 10096892 E-mail: francis.markus@ifrc.org

In Stockholm:

Nina Paulsen, Swedish Red Cross Head of Desk, Southeast- & East Asia and the Pacific

Direct phone: +46 8 452 46 09. Mobile: +46 703 88 46 09; Email; nina.paulsen@redcross.se