DPR Korea OCHA Situation Bulletin Aug 2003

Situation Report
Originally published

As part of the 2003 UN Inter-Agency Consolidated Appeal for the DPRK, UNICEF appealed for US$12,096,000 to support its Emergency Programme for children and women in the country. The table below shows the current funding status of the Appeal, by sector. Funding includes an additional US$900,000 from UNICEF regular resources.

1 September 2003
Target (US$)
Funded (US$)
% Funded
Unfunded (US$)
Expanded programme on immunization (EPI)
Essential drugs
Maternal and child health
Water and environmental sanitation

Under funding and late funding for UNICEF programmes in the DPRK has forced postponement of activities, slowed implementation of activities and reduced programme coverage. Shortfalls in funding prevent UNICEF from providing adequate support and places children at greater risk of death and malnutrition. For example, UNICEF is currently only able to provide several "very vital" medicines out of more than 200 items on the WHO essential medicines list. Additional funding for the procurement of vital medicines is urgently needed. Because of the lack of funding, supplementary foods for school children and pregnant women cannot be fortified. Contributions are urgently needed to initiate procurement of the necessary vitamins and minerals for fortification. Water rehabilitation activities and printing of new primary school textbooks have been postponed until new funding is received.

The most urgent priority requirements for the remainder of 2003 are:

Amount Required (US$)
1. Essential drugs - 12 million people in eight provinces/cities and child care institutions nationwide 2,000,000 (for vital medicines)
2. Immunization - 470,000 children under the age of one year
- 480,000 pregnant women
300,000 (for vaccines and critical cold chain equipment)
3. Nutrition rehabilitation / control of micronutrient deficiencies - All children below 5 years of age
- 480,000 pregnant and 450,000 lactating women
- 70,000 severely malnourished children
- Whole population for iodized salt
500,000 (for vitamin-mineral premix for children and pregnant women)

Details of the UNICEF DPRK Emergency Programme can be obtained from:

Andrew Morris
DPR Korea
Tel: + 850 2 381 7150
Fax: + 850 2 381 7676
E-mail: amorris@unicef.org
Olivier Degreef
Tel: + 41 22 909 5546
Fax: + 41 22 909 5902
E-mail: odegreef@unicef.org
Dan Rohrmann
New York
Tel: + 1 212 326 7009
Fax: + 1 212 326 7165
E-mail: drohrmann@unicef.org


In August, the new UNICEF DPRK web-site was launched. Information on the country situation as well as UNICEF's programmes in the DPRK may be found at: http://www.unicef.org/dprk




- For background information on DOTS please read the Text Box on page 3

DPRK is now at the crucial and final stage for the DOTS expansion to cover the whole of the country. The DOTS strategy was introduced in November 1998 as a way to curb the increasing problem of tuberculosis.

Training of the doctors responsible for diagnosis and treatment of TB patients at county and district hospitals has been essential for expansion of DOTS. As per the plan of action, DOTS training course for the 5th phase expansion was conducted in Pyongyang during the period of 18 - 29 August 2003 with support of WHO. This is the 8th in a series of two week training courses carried out in recent years with technical support from international TB experts provided by WHO.

The objective of this training course was to impart the knowledge and skill necessary to implement global DOTS strategy to the TB doctors. A ten-module training package in Korean, developed by WHO, was used.

35 health personnel from Ryangang and North Hamgyong Provinces, and Kaesong city participated in the course. The course was facilitated by Dr. Rajeswari, WHO TB expert from India. Overall, this training course was quite successful. It was well organized with effective training material. The organizing of this course was made possible with financial support to WHO from the Government of Canada (CIDA). Ryangang and North Hamgyong Provinces and Kaesung city are expected to implement DOTS from October 2003, resulting in 100 percent DOTS coverage of the national population by the end of this year.

Based on the data on tuberculosis of the 1st quarterly report 2003, it is estimated that 13,964 additional cases, including 3,980 additional new smear positive cases, are expected to be treated in 2003. It is expected that at least another 12,560 cases will be successfully treated under DOTS by the end of 1st quarter 2004. As a result, more than 5,000 lives could be saved from the death of TB. This is largely due to the contribution by CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency), while the TB-drugs are from Global Drug Facility (GDF).


A WHO mission of staff members from Geneva and the Regional Office in New Delhi visited DPR Korea 26-30 August for assessment and training of National Regulatory Authority. This was one of several missions by WHO to survey the mechanism to ensure the quality of vaccines used in DPR Korea. The core structure for implementation of such activities at the country level is the presence of functional National Regulatory Authority and National control laboratory. The mission recommended further WHO support to strengthen the existing system, and issued recommendations for the national immunization program management. Recommendations included: capacity building, training, upgrading of existing facilities, assistance in completion of programme documents, and analysis of the surveillance data and field findings.

As DPR Korea are provided vaccines from WHO recommended manufactures, which guarantee the quality of produced vaccines, the main functions of existing National Regulatory Authority is the control of the vaccine quality and immunization safety after vaccine arrival to the country. This includes strict control of vaccine accompanied with documentation, supervision of storage of the vaccines at a suitable temperature on their way to consumers and ensuring safety of vaccine handling during immunization. This is very important as any changes in the chain of events of vaccine shipment, storage and use might lead to irreversible consequences for the patient health.

In recent years, WHO has conducted several field surveys in cooperation with UNICEF in order to improve understanding of typical procedures for the receipt, storage, distribution, handling and administration of vaccines in DPR Korea. One of the important achievements was the establishment of surveillance for adverse events following immunizations like abscesses, allergic reactions and other sudden patient sickness after immunization. These events are very rare, but investigation of each case enables detection and locates discrepancies, solves problems and raises the trust in National immunization program amongst the population. These are responsibilities of the National Regulatory Authority, which should act as an independent structure to monitor the programme.

Q. What is DOTS?

A. Directly Observed Treatment Short Course

The internationally-recommended TB control strategy is DOTS. DOTS combine five elements: political commitment, microscopy services, drug supplies, surveillance and monitoring systems, and use of highly efficacious regimes with direct observation of treatment.

Once patients with infectious TB (bacilli visible in a sputum smear) have been identified using microscopy services, health and community workers and trained volunteers observe and record patients swallowing the full course of the correct dosage of anti-TB medicines (treatment lasts six to eight months). The most common anti-TB drugs are isoniazid, rifampicin, pyrazinamide, streptomycin and ethambutol.

Sputum smear testing is repeated after two months, to check progress, and again at the end of treatment. A recording and reporting system documents patient's progress throughout, and the final outcome of treatment.

is THE MOST EFFECTIVE STRATEGY available for controlling the TB epidemic today

  • DOTS produces cure rates of up to 95 percent even in the poorest countries.* (see footnote)
  • DOTS prevent new infections by curing infectious patients.
  • DOTS prevent the development of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) by ensuring the full course of treatment is followed.
  • A six-month supply of drugs for DOTS costs US $11 per patient in some parts of the world. The World Bank has ranked the DOTS strategy as one of the "most cost-effective of all health interventions."

Since DOTS was introduced on a global scale in 1995, over 10 million infectious patients have been successfully treated under DOTS programmes. In half of China, cure rates among new cases are 96 percent. In Peru, widespread use of DOTS for more than ten years has led to the successful treatment of 91 percent of cases, and a reduction of incidence of new cases.

* In the absence of HIV or multidrug-resistance



UNICEF - Immunisations continue for children and pregnant women

During the past three months an estimated 80,000 infants received vaccinations against measles, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus and tuberculosis - helping to protect them from illness, disability and death. With UNICEF assistance, monthly vaccination sessions were held at over 5,000 sites throughout the

country. A new vaccine family card was introduced and an inventory of cold chain equipment in some 6,000 hospitals and clinics throughout the country is almost completed, the results of which will guide future procurement of immunization items. One priority is to now ensure regular reporting of vaccination coverage results from each county, to help identify those children who are being missed by the programme.

UNICEF - Ensuring Essential Health Treatments for Children and Women

Over 2,000 health facilities, mainly at the village level, received "very vital" medicines thereby ensuring that those children with illnesses such as pneumonia and diarrhoea could be treated promptly. The UNICEF assisted Central Medical Warehouse made deliveries to all twelve provinces / cities throughout the country. Over 90 percent of deliveries were completed on time to: 2,050 Ri clinics, 117 county hospitals, 11 provincial paediatric hospitals, 11 provincial maternity hospitals and 2 central paediatric and maternity hospitals. Full details of the 2003 essential medicines delivery plan, current health facilities coverage and the types of medicines provided are available from the UNICEF Pyongyang office.

Severely malnourished children - life-saving nutritional rehabilitation by UNICEF

Over the past three months, around 2,500 severely malnourished children were treated for malnutrition and associated illnesses, usually diarrhoea or pneumonia, at twelve pediatric hospitals and thirteen baby homes in all provinces. The October 2002 nutrition assessment showed there are around 70,000 severely malnourished children throughout the country and many of these children will die unless life-saving hospital treatment is given. ECHO funding in the second half of 2002 ensured the regular availability of therapeutic milk from end 2002 until mid-2003. A new ECHO funded project "improving health and nutrition services in three vulnerable northeast provinces" has recently started. Additional funds are now sought to ensure that severely malnourished children in the other 9 provinces and cities can be treated.

UNICEF and the Ministry of Public Health completed a new family practices book containing the most important information on good care for pregnant women and young children. Care practices is one most important factor influencing a young child's growth and development and the recent nutrition assessment highlighted several care practices that could be improved - including infant and young child feeding practices - which would have direct, significant benefit to the young child. An initial 100,000 copies of this Korean language book - the result of an inter-Ministerial effort over the past year - will be provided to families and caregivers in the more vulnerable northeast provinces.


Over the next few months 1,100 sets of basic equipment for physicians, referred to as "household doctor's kits", are to be distributed to general practitioners in DPR Korea. The project will be carried out by the German Red Cross and is being financed by the German Foreign Office. This project is part of the German Red Cross Medical Program and is being carried out in close cooperation with the DPR Korean Red Cross. The project is under the management of a German physician and has a budget volume of 172,000 Euros.

The "household doctor's kit" consists of essential medicines, syringes, hypodermic needles, bandages, a device for measuring blood pressure, and other basic medical equipment. It is designed for use in hospital outpatient wards and by doctors making house calls. This aid will benefit the provinces of DPRern Pyongan, Chagang, Southern Pyongan, and Kaesong with around 1,800 health care providers in an area with a population of 6.13 million.

In the countries where it is active the German Red Cross Medical Program eliminates or at least reduces health care deficits, distributes medicines, provides supplementary training for doctors and nursing staff, as well as holds seminars on the subjects of hygiene and prevention. Hospital buildings are repaired and safe supplies of drinking water created for them.


The next country programme will be the fourth cycle of assistance for DPRK for the period of 2004-2006. The outline was drafted based on The Common Country Assessment and Consolidated Appeal Process 2003, Mid-Term Review and Annual Review recommendations, consultations with the government, UNICEF, WHO, UNDP, WHO, OCHA, WFP and International Federation of Red Cross to ensure mutual understanding and harmonization of the programme content. Furthermore, consultation was also made with Executive Board members during the programme development process. Partners have pointed out the leading role that UNFPA could play in the Reproductive Health area. The thrust of the programme will be on:

  • Reduction of maternal mortality through provision of RH services including maternal and newborn care, FP services, and treatment of RTI/STI.

  • Improved access for beneficiaries to essential RH commodities through harmonization of donor efforts both in terms of commodity provision as well as logistics for their delivery.

  • Enhanced capacity for collection and analysis of data to better monitor health delivery, including RH services.

The programme area will be in South Hamgyong and Kangwon in the east and South Phyongan Province in the west. The Country Programme Outline 4 was endorsed by The Executive Board Session in June. In the new Country Programme Result-Based Management (RBM) approach, including log frame matrix will be introduced as an important tool for improved programming, monitoring and evaluation. The size of the next Country Programme will be US$3.3 million from regular resources and US$500,000 from other sources.


In August AmeriCares delivered US$3 million dollars (wholesale) of medicines to three hospitals, the Pyongyang Medical U. Hospital, and the Paediatric Hospitals of South Pyongan and North Hwanghae. Nutritional supplements were also provided to orphanages in South Pyongan and North Hwanghae. AmeriCares staff visited the DPRK in late August for monitoring and assessment purposes. During the visit they participated in the weekly Inter-Agency Meeting, as well as meeting with UNICEF, WHO and OCHA to share information and discuss technical aspects of their programme.

AmeriCares is a non-profit US disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization, which provides immediate response to emergency medical needs -- and supports long-term humanitarian assistance programs -- for all people around the world, irrespective of race, creed or political persuasion. AmeriCares solicits donations of medicines, medical supplies and other relief materials from U.S. and international manufacturers, and delivers them quickly and efficiently to indigenous healthcare and welfare professionals in 137 countries around the world.

For further information visit www.americares.org/




UNICEF has concluded planning of two new water supply schemes for Hyesan City (Ryanggang Province) and Hoeryong City (North Hamgyong Province) in the vulnerable northeast of the country. These complement those already ongoing in Jongpyong and Kowon Counties (South Hamgyong Province) and Kosan County (Kangwon Province).

Water supply systems have continued to degrade during the eight years since the beginning of humanitarian action in the DPRK. Though 83 percent of the population access drinking water through piped systems, it is estimated that these only serve 20-50 percent of needs today, depending on the location. Among the problems faced are the degraded quality of the pipes and pumps - in Hyesan, only two out of 12 pumps are now functioning - but also chronic shortages of energy, limiting the amount of time pumps can function. New ideas are needed, and UNICEF has them.

The new scheme for Hyesan, for instance, involves changing the water source entirely from the Amnok River to a stream 15 kilometres away above any human habitation and completely free of contamination. By using this source and piping the water downhill, gravity eliminates the necessity to pump the water and gets around the need to buy and maintain pumps and the need to have adequate energy supplies.

Given the topography of the country, with abundant perennial water sources in hills and mountains, this is obviously the solution for the future. Setting-up the schemes is very labour-intensive, but this provides additional employment to local people, with WFP providing food-for-work. It also, of course, reduces the threat of communicable diseases for children and others, and thus the burden on the health services.

UNICEF - More families gain access to clean water

Around 10,000 more families in Jongpyong, Kowon (both in South Hamgyong province) and Kosan (Kangwon province) counties now have clean water as a result of recent rehabilitation of their piped water supplies. In total, over 20,000 families in these three counties have benefited from UNICEF water assistance over the past year. Work in the Jongpyong county town (ECHO funded) was completed in August. This project involved construction of a small reservoir/dam, replacement of pumping stations, setting-up of a small water treatment station, laying of hundreds of kilometres of primary, secondary and tertiary water pipes and drilling of water bore-wells / installing hand pumps in schools, nurseries and kindergartens.


In July 2003, Triangle GH completed a 16 month water and sanitation project in eight co-operative farms in South Pyongwon Province. The project, which was funded by the EU through ECHO for Euro 775,000, directly benefited 40,508 people in three counties in South Pyongan Province.

The project's aim was to meet the population's most important needs in water and sanitation. It targeted 12,972 school children, and patients in the Ri level health centres. Overall the project has improved access to safe, reliable and running water for population in rural communities and improved access to hygiene and latrines facilities in kindergartens, schools, nurseries and health institutions.

Significant achievements in the project were:

  • Rehabilitation of 147 community wells
  • Rehabilitation of 48 km of pipes of the main water network, construction of three water tanks, including the installation of public taps connected to the running water network.
  • Rehabilitation of the internal water supply networks in 65 institutions.

Triangle Génération Humanitaire is an international charitable organisation established in 1994. Its goal is to provide concrète answers for thé unacceptable situations faced by populations in suffering. TGH participates in the fight against poverty and for social integration. It provides its support to groups of victims in conflicts, natural disasters or any kind of situation plunging them into precarious conditions. Its acts are distinguished by a world-wide approach to humanitarian aid, integrating emergency and development.
Mél : info@trianglegh.org

In order to improve the impact of the project on the children and the patients, the rehabilitation of the water system was also undertaken in institutions. This work benefits 12,972 school children in 11 schools, seven kindergarten, 39 nurseries and eight health centres. 75 bathrooms in the institutions were rehabilitated or constructed using 2.5 km of galvanised pipes.

As a means of assuring permanent access to potable water, 1,070 plastic tanks (30 containing 1000L and 1040 containing 30 L) and 100 kg of chlorine tablets have been provided ensuring safe water for one year (shelf life expectancy of the chlorine).

The rehabilitation or installation of latrines took place in the institutions mentioned above. Support for this activity was seen as a positive development, as it enabled Triangle G.H. to address some of the root causes of child illness - diarrhoea. Recognising the importance of the sanitation component, the Ministry of City Management in 2002 gave permission to all agencies to undertake rehabilitation of sanitation facilities in institutions (including primary and middle schools, hospitals/clinics, nurseries, kindergartens, etc)

In the eleven schools, the pits have been rebuilt ensuring their watertight, covers have been installed and the cabins readjusted.

In the institutions without any latrines, especially the 39 nurseries, external latrines have been built. In addition, chamber pots for the babies have been distributed.

In addition to the rehabilitation activities, water quality tests were successfully conducted. Two days of training on hygiene issue was organised for the beneficiary institutions. Korean specialists trained 80 persons from each targeted institutions for the purpose of educating at their turn children and patients about hygiene practices. Triangle GH delivered all support for communication and training.

The success of the project is evidence that NGOs, working at the grassroots level in a focused area, can achieve significant results in the DPRK with well targeted assistance. Because of the successful outputs of this project, Triangle G.H. is committed to continued activities in this sector in 2004.


Cooperazione e Sviluppo (CESVI) is a non religious and independent NGO founded in 1985 in Bergamo, Italy, with the aim of improving world solidarity and human rights through educational activities in Italy and humanitarian and development projects in countries affected by special crisis or underdevelopment. CESVI has offices in 30 Countries, working with emergency, rehabilitation and development programmes. For further information on CESVI activities please visit http://www.cesvi.org/

The second mission of an expert laboratory technician, Mr Fabio Franceschini, is underway within CESVI water and sanitation programme in Kangwon Province. He is working in close cooperation with the technicians of the county anti epidemic stations (AES) supported by the water and sanitation programme. Mr Franceschini has previously worked with the anti epidemic stations in October 2002. During his current mission he will be assessing the situation of the anti epidemic stations, as well as carrying out refreshing training for the local technicians. Key activities during this visit include:

  • Checking the status of their equipment.
  • Learn about the difficulties and problems encountered by the local AES staff.
  • Verification of the work carried out by the AES during the year
  • Make recommendations for future activities.

Mr Franceschini will visit all AES supported by CESVI water and sanitation programme: the Provincial AES of Wonsan (supported through OCHA funds) and the county AES of Thongchon, Chonnae and Popdong (supported through ECHO funds).

The support to the laboratories of AES is a fundamental step in ensuring safe water and an acceptable sanitation standard to the people. CESVI has provided both the equipment necessary to carry out reliable water analysis and training to the local laboratory technicians. In particular, the training has proved to have a very positive impact not only on the enhancement of the technicians' knowledge, but also on their motivation.


Concern is currently in the final phase of implementing an ECHO funded project in Pukchang County. This project aims to increase the levels of sanitation and access to potable water to 10,000 inhabitants.

Activities undertaken within the project include the physical rehabilitation of five rural water supply stems, the rehabilitation of water supplies to schools and hospitals in Pukchang City and the construction of latrines. A health hygiene dissemination component is included with the distribution of educational materials on hygiene and sanitation to schools in the area and training to improve capacity of local health staff on good hygiene practices.

In the last couple of months good progress was made in construction activities finally due to an increased motivation amongst beneficiaries and workers as results of the project were seen. This can also be attributed to the increased field presence of Concern personnel.

Over half the project sites are now fully complete and the remaining is expected to be completed by mid September as most work to be completed is minor.

A joint visit by FDRC at central level and the relevant line ministries was carried out in Pukchang. Representatives of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture participated in an initial evaluation of work undertaken in the Pukchang area along with the Head of External Affairs for FDRC.

Work is being undertaken in Dokchon to assess initial designs and information collected preparatory to commencing a new water and sanitation project. Concern is awaiting permission to undertake topographical surveys. Concern also awaits confirmation of funding to undertake this project. A further project is being prepared for submission to ECHO in Hoichang/Haechan County.

For further information on Concern please contact:

Rose Dew
Country Director
Telephone: +850 2 381 7112
Fax: +850 2 381 7647
E-mail: conkorea@public2.bta.net.cn



Due to a break in the cereal pipeline almost 3 million beneficiaries were dropped from WFP distributions in July. This measure affected children in nurseries, kindergartens and primary schools, pregnant and nursing women, the elderly and caregivers in child institutions in most provinces. Children in orphanages and paediatric hospitals continued to be covered. From 1 August, using a cereals loan from the Government, WFP was able to resume distributions to all VGF beneficiaries. The loan will be repaid upon the arrival of a maize donation from RoK. However, unless new pledges are soon confirmed, further cuts in cereal distributions will again be necessary as early as October. An overall shortfall for the calendar year remains of about 53,000 mt. For the next 6 months (September 2003 - February 2004), shortfalls are projected totaling 109,500 mt, of which 89,000 mt cereals.

Stocks of constituent commodities are running low in the WFP-assisted Local Food Production factories, especially wheat flour and sugar. As a result of an expected delay in the arrival of wheat to be purchased with the USD 10 million cash contribution from Russia (expected end-November), WFP-assisted Local Food Production factories must suspend their operations by mid October. A further wheat loan is requested from the Government to continue the operation of LFP factories on the East Coast. Thus far nearly 100 Food-for-Work project proposals were received for the autumn season. A total of 24,000 mt of food has been tentatively earmarked for these activities (10,000 mt for the West Coast and 14,000 mt for the East Coast). Assessment is ongoing of these proposals that include agriculture, agro-forestry and flood prevention.

WFP emergency officers reported PDC rations of 380 grams/person/day for the month of August. This ration level is expected to be maintained in September. Main agricultural activities observed include the production by farmers of organic compost for the next cropping cycle, application of fertilizers to paddy fields, weeding of main crops and planting of autumn vegetables. Preventive measures against eventual flood damage were also observed, mainly consisting of repair of river embankments and clearing of water canals.

Infestation of rice water and maize weevils continued to be reported. With insufficient supplies of pesticides available, many farmers are endeavoring to combat the situation by using traditional, largely ineffective methods. Affected provinces include North and South Pyongan, North and South Hwanghae, South Hamgyong. Mixed reports have been received on the condition of the main agricultural crops. Ryanggang and North Hamgyong provinces predicted a substantially reduced output of maize and rice owing to heavy rainfall during July and August. However, officials in North Hwanghae Province reported that the high rainfall would benefit maize, rice and autumn vegetables. Heavy rains and flooding caused significant damage to infrastructure in some counties.


For information on the FALU members mentioned in this update please contact:


ACT (Action by Churches Together)

CFGB (Canadian Food Grains Bank)

Ms. Kathi Zellweger of Caritas HK undertook a field visit to the North East from 20 August, including North and South Hamgyong Provinces. Visits were made to child institutions, cooperative farms and hospitals. During her mission she continued to have meetings with in-country representatives of humanitarian agencies and government officials.

The Canadian Food Grains Bank, in collaboration with Caritas Hong Kong, signed an agreement with FDRC for the provision of 2,120mt of Canadian wheat flour as supplies for the production of locally-produced Cereal Milk Blend (CMB). T he total value of this grant is approximately USD 890,000. The consignment is expected to arrive in DPRK by the end of September. The main beneficiaries of the CMB will be children in Nurseries, Kindergartens and provincial Children's Institutions on both West and East Coast provinces.

ACT/Diakonie-Germany signed an agreement with the FDRC for the provision of 130 mt of sugar. The total value of this grant is approximately USD 38,000. The sugar will be utilised in the WFP supported Pyongyang CSM/CMB and RMB factories. Arrival is anticipated to take place around the middle of September.



Five hundred tonnes of "Rice of Peace" to feed North Korean children, donated by South Koreans was shipped to North Korea on August 13. It was the first of three shipments, with 1,000 tonnes and 500 tonnes to be delivered in September and October later this year. On July 14, World Vision Korea signed an agreement with Korea National Economic Cooperation Agency (KNECA) in Beijing for the donation, with World Vision Korea assuming responsibility for the distribution and monitoring.

The rice, plus 100 tonnes of powdered milk, will feed 20,000 North Korean children for three months. The donation of rice was made possible by participation of the South Korean public and 16 corporations.

For more information on World Vision International please contact:

Main Email: NewsVision@wvi.org
Website: http://www.wvi.org


Agricultural crops situation, to end-August

Summer crops' conditions were generally good except in poorly-drained low-lying areas. Pest infestation was variable and fairly widespread, even from North Hamgyong. Rice Water Weevil levels were similar to 2002 and related to water-logged conditions. The level of crop damage is not expected to increase, according to our consultant entemologist. Rice Stem Borer and Maize Stakl Borer is relatively low and not expected to affect yields. Pesticide applications are not required to secure the 2003 harvest.

FAO Emergency Operations 2003. As reported in June, funding was received from the Governments of Sweden and Finland - via the Consolidated Appeals Process - for an integrated agricultural project consisting of inputs support (fertilisers and seed) and training (integrated pest management/IPM and soil fertility management/SFM). NPK and urea fertilisers were made available to 458 cooperative farms in North and South Pyongan, Pyongyang, North and South Hwanghae Provinces, with some 229,000 households as beneficiaries. These fertilisers were used on the main crops Maize and Paddy

In-country training was regrettably delayed by travel restrictions imposed during Spring 2003 due to the SARS outbreaks in China and elsewhere. The first training consultant (Mr Murali Radhakrishnan) arrived at the end-August and has already facilitated a Curriculum Development Workshop on IPM, with some 20 participants from the Ministry of Agriculture, Academy of Agricultural Science, Central Plant Protection Institute and Pyongyang City Plant Protection Station. Murali is running an Orientation Course on IPM in South Pyongan, before moving on to the other provinces (North/South Hwanghae, North Pyongan) of the main Cereal Bowl region. Focus will be on cooperative farm chief engineers, work team leaders, county-level engineers and personnel selected from provincial Plant Protection Stations.

Government Endorses Integrated Pest Management. The Government has endorsed various IPM promotional efforts in recent years and the hoped-for reduction of chemical pesticide use, previously widely over-used. [Reported from a recent presentation in Malaysia during the 23rd session of the Asia-Pacific Plant Protection Commission, 29 July - 5 August]

Soil Fertility Management Training will probably be postponed until spring 2004, although Green Manure field trials will be launched on some 10 cooperative farms in the coming weeks, following the harvesting of maize and paddy. Seed multiplication of two soil nitrogen-fixing legumes (Crotelaria and Sesbania) is currently under way. On-farm crop rotation trials, with legumes followed by autumn cabbage is likewise being demonstrated on a small scale, in Pyongyang province

Crop & Food Supply Assessment Mission. The joint FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission are expected to arrive in Pyongyang on 23 September. Although two missions were conducted annually in the past, there will only be an autumn assessment this year. The mission will additionally have observers from the EU office.

Consultants. Other FAO missions expected in the coming weeks include Mr Frazer Moffat (Goat Milk Production), Mr Zhu Defeng and Mr Klaus Siegert (Special Programme on Food Security), Mr Chen Jiaxin and Mr Simon Funge-Smith (Aquaculture Project), Mr Brian Dugdill from FAO-HQ and Mr Hans Wagner (FAO Regional Office, Bangkok) for the Goats' Artificial Insemination Project, Mr Rabindra Roy from FAO-HQ for the Soil Testing facility being established in Mundok County, South Pyongan Province and finally Mr Upadhyay Kumar together with Mr Ian Armitage for the Watershed Development Project.

The consultants relate mostly to the rehabilitation and development Technical Cooperation Projects (TCP) currently being implemented.

FAO Personnel Changes. In June, long-term National Project Officer Mr Ri Song Chol was joined by an assistant, Mr Ki Yong Gol. The office was further strengthened when FAO appointed Mr Michael Stapleton as its first international Programme Coordinator to the Pyongyang office. FAO will probably play a leading role in promoting activities toward a strategic framework for increased food security, working with all agencies and organizations operating in the agricultural and related sectors in DPR Korea. Within this framework, the Programme Coordinator will maintain close contact with UNDP and relevant Government Ministries and will coordinate FAO's emergency, rehabilitation and development programmes/projects by ensuring the smooth implementation of activities. FAO will also contribute to the elaboration and implementation of the strategy for early rehabilitation of agriculture in DPR Korea during the 2002-2005 period.

Mr Mike Stapleton is no stranger to DPR Korea, having carried out several consultancy missions for FAO during 2002-03 following a stint with the Irish NGO, Concern Worldwide dating back to 1999. This Programme Coordinator post has been established for one year initially and the incumbent will be in close collaboration with the Beijing-based FAO Representative for China, Mongolia and DPR Korea, Mr Gamal Ahmed, as well as Rome HQ.


Sustainable Production of Fuelwood and Fodder in South Pyon'gan Province

This is the third year of Concern's collaboration with tree nursery management and the Ministry of Land Management and Environmental Protection. The current project is located in fourteen sites in seven counties: Pyongsong, Pukchang, Dokchon, Sinyang, Yangdok, Songchon and Anju, and cover approximately two hundred hectares of tree nursery and cooperative farm land.

In August, Concern continued to carry out the monitoring of delivery of irrigation equipment this month. An assessment of the final transplantation sites is also underway along with the area where dynamic terracing will be established. Negotiations are also ongoing for collaboration with WFP regarding Food for Work projects being finalized.

A study tour is being finalized to Shenyang University. This will allow an exchange of information on tree nursery management, transplantation techniques and the management of terracing and increasing the capacity of tree nursery managers. This study tour was originally to be held in the Beijing Forestry University but was relocated at short notice. It will take place from 24 September to 4 October. Visas for participants have been confirmed by FDRC.

Rehabilitation of Irrigation Systems

The Pump Rehabilitation Project in Haeju and Anju counties, which was funded by the EU, was finished in August. Donor funding for the project ceased in June, however additional monitoring was carried out with the use of Concern funds. The final delivery of tools for installation in the mobile workshop vehicles is expected in the next couple of months. The tools will ensure that the mobile repair units are functional. The mobile repair units will service pumping stations and training of staff in the use of this unit. Final monitoring was carried out on the rehabilitated and new pump stations and a number of commissioned pumps.

The handover to the local authorities will take place once the Mobile Repair Units are fully assembled and fitted out as workshop vehicles.


UNFPA Implementing Partners arranged several functions on World Population Day, which was held on 11 July 2003. The Grand People's Study House arranged a Poster Exhibition and a Public Lecture to mark the occasion. Mr. Masood Hyder, UN Coordinator and also UNFPA Representative made a speech that highlighted the importance of providing information and services on reproductive health. He stated that 'the economic and other difficulties of the past decade have led to a decline in various essential sectors including health, food security and energy. These trends can be reversed. We need to work together, the Government and the UN, on all the sectors, to first halt the decline and then to surpass the achievements on the past. Infant and maternal mortality rates should be reversed nation-wide'. Over 200 people attended the opening ceremony, including representatives of UN Agencies and other international organisations. Similar activities were also conducted in Hamhung and the Kim Bo Hyon University in Pyongyang.


Mr Richard Bridle left the DPRK on 23 August at the end of his mission. He joins the UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office in Bangkok as Deputy Regional Director. The new UNICEF Representative, Pierrette Vu Thi, is expected to arrive in Pyongyang on 4 October. Ms Vu Thi will be the first ever woman representative of a UN agency in the DPRK. Prior to this appointment, she worked on coordination of UNICEF's humanitarian response for post-war Iraq in UNICEF's New York Headquarters.


The FAO Representative Gamal Ahmed who came for a short visit to Pyongyang, 2-6 September Mr Ahmed was accompanied by Daniele Salvini, based in the FAO Regional Office (Asia-Pacific) in Bangkok, on his first visit to DPR Korea.

The OCHA Office in DPRK produces this Bulletin on the basis of information supplied by contributing organizations and public sources

Sweden is funding the OCHA Office in 2003


Masood Hyder
Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator Pyongyang
Tel: +8502-3817-571
Fax: +8502-3817-603
E-Mail: masood.hyder@wfp.org

Brendan McDonald
Head of Office OCHA Pyongyang
Tel: +8502-3817-490
Fax: +8502-3817-491
E-Mail: ocha.dprk@wfp.org

Electronic copies of this Bulletin (Adobe Acrobat PDF format) can be obtained by e-mailing ocha.dprk@wfp.org. Bulletins can also be obtained from www.reliefweb.int (HTML format)

Contributions for the September/October 2003 Bulletin should be sent to OCHA no later than 5 November

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