DPR Korea: Floods - Information Bulletin n° 3


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In Brief

This Bulletin is being issued for information only, and reflects the situation and the information available at this time.

The DPRK Red Cross has successfully completed the distribution of family kits from its disaster preparedness stocks to 4,950 families (24,750 people) affected by floods and landslides, which occurred in the country on 14 and 15 July. The kits, containing items such as blankets, plastic sheeting, cooking sets and water purification tablets, are intended to support families with their basic household needs until a more permanent solution becomes available.

The Situation

July and August are regarded as the height of the floods season in East Asia. Over the past eight weeks, large-scale flooding and a series of typhoons have affected China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Japan and the Republic of Korea. In DPRK, 14-15 July floods triggered by a typhoon affected a total of eight counties in South Pyongan, North Hwanghae, Kangwon and South Hamgyong provinces. According to the latest official figures, floods during the second week of July killed 151 people. Having now located many who were missing, the number of missing has been reduced from 127, as reported on 25 July, to 29 people. Rains precipitated landslides and flash floods that totally or partially destroyed 23,400 houses and rendered more than 16,960 families homeless, causing extensive damage to crops and infrastructure as outlined in table 1 attached to this bulletin.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

Immediately following the floods, the DPRK Red Cross rapidly mobilized 2,386 volunteers to provide rescue, evacuation and first aid support to affected communities. The DPRK Red Cross is acknowledged for its level of preparedness, and the contribution the national society has made towards improving preparedness of flood affected communities through its disaster management programme.

During the week ending 4 August, the DPRK Red Cross successfully completed their distribution of 4,950 family kits to six of the most severely flood affected counties. Floods made an impact on a total of eight counties in four provinces: South Pyongan, North Hwanghae, Kangwon and South Hamgyong. Within these provinces, the government and the national society agreed that the Red Cross should focus its response activities on the six most severely affected counties. The remaining two counties affected by the floods are reported to only have been marginally affected.

The DPRK Red Cross in South Pyongan province, where 280-320 mm of recorded rainfall fell in the first six hours of 16 July, distributed a total of 4,100 family kits within the counties of Sinyang, Yangdok and Songchon. The society also distributed 850 family kits within North Hwaghae (Sinpyong county), Kangwon (Kosan county), and South Hamyong (Sudong county). Each family kit included five blankets, two water containers (20 litre and 10 litre), one plastic sheet (4 x 2 m), a set of basic kitchen equipment and 1,400 water purification tablets. The contents of the family kit are intended to support the emergency shelter needs of affected families.

South Phyongan
N. Hwanghae
Distribution completed: Family kits

Note: Distribution of 4,950 family kits completed 4 August 2006. Monitoring of the situation is ongoing.

Over the past week, the DPRK Red Cross and the Federation disaster management officer conducted a field visit throughout the affected area to monitor the distribution of the family kits and the overall floods situation. The DPRK Red Cross and the Federation delegation continue to regularly share information and coordinate activities with the government, the United Nations (UN) and other international agencies in the DPRK.

The pre-stocking of family kits is an important component of the society's overall level of preparedness as part of the long term disaster management programme. Family kits are kept on hand in the society's warehouses, enabling the DPRK Red Cross to deliver assistance quickly to affected communities in the event of sudden onset disasters. In this case, family kits distributed to Yangdok, Songchon,Sinyang and Sinpyong came from the society's disaster preparedness stocks in Pyongyang, while family kits for Kosan and Sudong came from the society's stocks in Wonsan.

The government is positive and gives importance to the disaster management initiatives undertaken by the DPRK Red Cross. It values the national society's role in seeking to promote and develop more effective cooperation and coordination between concerned stakeholders. The government further recognizes the importance of the national society's strategically pre-positioned emergency contingency stocks of essential relief items. At the same time, it appreciates the practical contribution the DPRK RC's trained and experienced volunteers make towards disaster preparedness and mitigation, both at national level and within vulnerable communities. The society's long-term disaster management programme is currently supported by a wide range of Red Cross partners including: the Australian, British, Canadian, Danish, Finnish, Japanese, Norwegian and Singapore Red Cross societies, which support the DPRK RC in responding effectively and efficiently to assist affected families.

The International Federation undertakes activities that are aligned with its Global Agenda, which sets out four broad goals to achieve the Federation's mission to "improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity".

Global Agenda Goals:

Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.

Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.

Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.

Reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

The DPRK Red Cross Society: Min Byong Gwan (secretary-general) phone: +850.2.381.8986; fax: +850.2.381.3490.

Federation country delegation in DPRK: Jacob Timmer (head of delegation); email: jaap.timmer@ifrc.org; phone: +850.2.381.4350; fax: +850.2.381.3490.

Federation East Asia regional delegation in China: Alistair Henley (head of regional delegation); alistair.henley@ifrc.org; phone: +86.10.6532.7162, fax: +86.10.6532.7166.

Federation Secretariat in Geneva (Asia Pacific department): Ewa Eriksson (regional officer); email: ewa.eriksson@ifrc.org; phone: +41.22.730.4252; fax: +41.22.733.0395; or Sandra Rosner (senior assistant); email: sandra.rosner@ifrc.org; phone: +41.22.730.4456; fax: +41.22.733.0395

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at http://www.ifrc.org

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