DPR of Korea Humanitarian Situation Report : 15 Nov - 15 Dec 1999

Lack of heating affects many in DPRK
Oxfam withdraws from the DPRK
Discussions resumed on Nutrition Survey
Inter-Agency Consolidated Appeal 2000 launched
UNICEF conducts Mid-Term Review
High-level Japanese delegation visits DPRK
Situation Update
The onset of winter is harsh for many in DPRK, particularly during the coldest months of January - March. With fewer agencies providing supplementary coal supplies this year, the country is entering a period when the shortage of energy and fuel to provide heating will be most acutely felt by many Koreans this winter. Moreover, just as DPRK enters its leanest season (May-June), where the harvest has been consumed and new food stocks are not yet available, the World Food Programme's food pipeline will be exhausted in March unless new pledges are made.

Oxfam, which provides assistance in the provision of safe water and sanitation announced its departure from the DPRK, as it has reported that it has been unable to move its programme forward, or demonstrate the impact of its programmes satisfactorily. The inter-agency group of humanitarian agencies in Pyongyang has drawn up a Consensus Statement to express its concern at this development, stressing its commitment to promote the humanitarian principles and verification of humanitarian assistance through accountable and verifiable assistance to the most vulnerable.

The Government of DPRK has indicated that there will be a nutrition survey during the first half of 2000. Discussions are underway regarding the modalities.

The Inter-Agency Consolidated Appeal for DPRK 2000 was launched 23 November in Geneva, Switzerland, together with 13 other Appeals from around the world. The Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Anan presided over the global launch of the CAPs 2000 for $2.4 billion for humanitarian assistance for 14 major emergencies. The Consolidated Appeal for DPRK is for a total amount of $331.7 million covering food security, health and nutrition, water and sanitation, education and coordination. The Humanitarian Coordinator for DPRK, provided a briefing to all donors basd in Beijing on the Consolidated Appeal for DPRK and for all diplomatic missions resident in Pyongyang.

UNICEF and the Government of the DPRK jointly conducted a Mid-Term Review of its regular Programme of Cooperation for 1999-2000 and the 1999 emergency component, to evaluate the progress of project activities. The meeting reviewed sectoral achievements, effectiveness and efficiency of programme implementation and constraints hampering implementation. Joint action plans were agreed upon between Government and UNICEF to speed up effective programme implementation.

A high-level 16 member senior Japanese delegation from various Japanese political parties, led by former prime minister Tomiichi Murayama visited DPRK for a three-day visit. There has been positive feedback from the discussions held with the DPRK with the possibility of normalisation of diplomatic ties and an aid package between the two countries.

The OCHA, Humanitarian Affairs Officer, Shahwar Pataudi is scheduled to depart DPRK at the end of her assignment after a period of eighteen months.

Agency Activities under Food Security

WFP received a total of 43,147 MTs of commodities during November - 14,000 MT wheat, 23,421 MTs wheatflour, 5,366 MTs Vegoil, 360 MTs DSM

WFP conducted a food-for-work workshop for the first time in Hyesan, Ryangang province on 15 November. Participants were responsive to targeting potential women-related projects in the region. WFP in collaboration with DG Development (formerly DGVIII) held a lessons learned workshop on the 24,700 MTs of food channeled to NGOs (Concern WW, Action Contre la Faim, CESVI, IFRC, German Agro-Action and Children's Aid Direct), through WFP. An additional 23,000 MTs earmarked for implementation by European NGOs in 2000.

FALU (WFP-Food Aid Liaison Unit) held a first workshop on Pregnant and Nursing Women (PNW's) in Huichon City, Chagang province to exchange views about the nutritional situation of PNW's in DPRK. The workshop was attended by WFP, UNICEF, IFRC and national colleagues from Chagang province.

FAO is delivering 702 MT or Urea, 656 MT of DAP and 411 MT of MOP to cover 6,656 ha. Of winter wheat/barley. The fertiliser will be distributed to 271 farms in 5 provinces - Pyongyang, N/S Pyongan and N/S Hwanghae. The expected beneficiaries are 151,082 families.

AREP has received a low bed trailer, which will be used to carry excavators and bulldozers for flood damage prevention and rehabilitation in South Hamgyong. A project funded by CARITAS HongKong for the production of sweet potatoes on the East coast in Kangwon province has been approved.

Swiss Development Cooperation has distributed 2,000 stoves in 6 counties in North Hwanghae province for a total of $146,000. Beneficiaries include kindergartens, primary schools and families resident in the area.

PVO Consortium is nearing completion of the fifth phase of its programme in the DPRK. Team members are scheduled to depart the DPRK by mid-December.

Children's Aid Direct (CAD) is currently transporting breeding stock to the complete (NGO Fund-funded) rabbit production units in South Hamgyong.

Agency Activities under the Health Sector

UNICEF held a Programme Strategy meeting in early December to discuss the next proposed country programme of cooperation for 2001-2003. The new strategy will aim to achieve, reduction of infant mortality, under 5 mortality and maternal mortality by 20 percent and the incidence of low birth weight by 30 percent. UNICEF conducted 15 monitoring visits during the period.

International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) undertook 35 monitoring visits to health institutions. Results showed that all institutions were running low on supplies. Monitoring has been the subject of some discussion between the Ministry of Public Health and the National Society. It is now agreed that delegates will continue to monitor drug distributions according to established procedures.

Mid-wife kits funded by a private Chinese donor, were distributed by IFRC to Ri hospitals in all four of the Federation's operational areas. Distribution of brochures relating to diarrhoea and mother's role in child-care and the essential drug use manual continued during Oct-Nov. During October, the Federation completed health promotion training in diarrhoea prevention and treatment. Materials for training on Acute Respiratory Infections were prepared and translated and presented to the Ministry of Health for approval. The Federation's health team continued data collection on Community Based First Aid (CBFA) during the reported period.

Children's Aid Direct (CAD) received approval for an ECHO-funded winterisation project for South Hamgyong, involving the purchase of 20,000 sets of winter clothing, and the installation of new windows and a heating system at the Hamhung boarding school. The printing of 16,800 sets of (ECHO-funded) children's health education materials was completed.

Concern WorldWide received support from ECHO for a winterisation project for 6 counties in South Pyongan.

Institute for Strategic Reconciliation (ISR) has shipped a container of essential drugs to DPRK on 25 November. The drugs include anti-biotics, cardiovascular drugs, analgesics, ulcer medication, anti-inflammatory drugs and oral re-hydration salts to treat diarrhoea.

Agency Activities under Water & Sanitation

International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) received a review team from Headquarters in Geneva and the Swedish Red Cross in October. They visited Unsan and Kujang county hospitals and Sunchon city hospital. Following considerable difficulties in gaining access to information about water pumps and their capacity, the Watsan delegate visited hospitals in North Pyongan province to assess water facilities and the water pump factory in Anju.

Children's Aid Direct (CAD) received 1.5 tons of chlorine tablets for distribution to 5,000 (ECHO-funded) water treatment kits in South Hamgyong. CAD's first pilot sand filter has been established and will be tested over the next 1-2 months. Following Oxfam's departure from the DPRK, Children's Aid Direct (CAD) will host the fortnightly Watsan meetings in Pyongyang.

Oxfam has conducted training in water testing and arranged for follow up training of trainers with the Ministry of City Management/Public Health. An indigenous chlorination unit is scheduled for installation at a water pump station in Pyongyang.

Agency Activities in Disaster Preparedness

IFRC conducted an assessment of the August flood victims in Kaesong from 22-23 November. The results of the assessment show that 581 worst affected flood victims require food and clothing. The first Federation supported formal DPRK Red Cross Branch training was held in Kaesong on 22-26 November with 40 participants from 4 counties.

For further information please contact:

Mr. David Morton Ms. Shahwar Pataudi<br>

Humanitarian Coordinator

Humanitarian Affairs



Tel: 850-2-3817-566/239




E-mail: david.morton@undp.org


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.