I. Situation analysis
The draft country programme for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was prepared in close consultation with the National Coordinating Committee for UNDP of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is the UNDP counterpart in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Extensive consultations were held with all stakeholders – ministries, research institutions, donors and United Nations agencies. It reflects the in-depth discussions and agreement on the United Nations Strategic Framework (2011-2015) between the Government and the United Nations country team. It supports the Government in achieving its national objective of improving the living standards of its people in line with the Millennium Development Goals.
Prior to the 1990s, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had achieved high levels of human development in terms of life expectancy, infant mortality, access to health services, water and sanitation. The loss of the socialist markets and the natural disasters in the 1990s saw a reversal of many of the Human Development Index indicators: per capita income fell by 50 per cent, life expectancy declined and the infant mortality rate increased.
While many countries embarked on a process of rapid globalization, economic transformation and expansion of information technology, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea suffered from continued natural disasters resulting in a drop in all sectors of the national economy, such as energy, food security, transport, information infrastructure as well as agriculture and industrial production. From 1995 to 2005, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea required external humanitarian assistance, including large quantities of food aid, to meet the basic needs of its people.