DPRK

DPR Korea OCHA Situation Bulletin Jun/Jul 2004

Format
Situation Report
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Posted
Originally published


FLOODS IN DPRK
The official KCNA news agency reported that torrential rains in July displaced 1000 families and destroyed some 100,000 hectares of paddy farmland, the equivalent of 4 per cent of the country's total arable land. This resulted in an estimated drop of 30 per cent of the harvest output. Floods are an annual hazard during North Korea's summer monsoon season, damaging crops and adding to the country's economic difficulties.

The heavy rain recorded during the month of July affected not only crops. In many counties, severe damage to infrastructure, houses, schools and hospitals was reported. Particularly badly affected were Unsan and Pukchang counties (S. Phyongan), where over 2500 houses were reportedly totally or partially destroyed and 25 casualties were recorded. In the far North of the country, the rains caused landslides and river flooding which disrupted the road link to the WFP Hyesan Sub-Office. One team was stranded for a week before they were able to return by train through a "non-accessible" county. The DPRK Government has not requested any assistance from WFP to deal with the floods, though IFRC has contributed non-food items.

JAPANESE AID TO DPRK

The Government of Japan has decided to provide to DPRK 125,000 tons of food aid through the World Food Programme (WFP) and humanitarian medical assistance worth about seven million dollars through the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

At the summit meeting held between Japan and DPRK on May 22, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told General Secretary Kim Jong-il that Japan would provide 250,000 tons of food aid and ten million dollars' worth of medical assistance to North Korea through international organizations.

To WFP, Japan will contribute about 40 million dollars for food assistance comprising wheat (five tons), rice (48,000 tons), maize (18,500 tons), soybeans (5,000tons), sugar (2,000 tons) and cooking oil (1,500 tons) for the socially weak such as orphans, pregnant women, infants and the elderly.

To UNICEF, Japan will contribute five million dollars to provide essential medicines and improve medical equipment. This generous donation will help provide children and women in the DPR Korea with access to the most essential primary health and nutrition care services, as well as access to clean water for families in large urban areas. About 15 million people, including 1.3 million children under five years of age, will benefit.

To WHO, Japan will contribute about two million dollars to provide WHO hospital kits (sterilizers, forceps, scalpels, speculums, syringes, suture thread, gauze, operating tables) to 30 hospitals.

Ryongchon Train Explosion Update

On the 22nd of April, 2004 two train wagons with ammonium nitrate and fuel oil exploded after coming in contact with electric wire from train cables. This resulted in a massive explosion creating a large crater and levelling everything in a 500 m radius. The impact of the powerful blast resulted in houses and public buildings in the vicinity being severely damaged or destroyed. The government reported that 156 people died within the first 48 hours of the explosion, of which 76 were children in a school which collapsed, 1300 were injured and more than 7000 people were rendered homeless. This humanitarian emergency situation resulted in casualties due to injuries from burns, crush injuries, injuries to the eyes due to glass splinters from broken glass, injuries to the ear due to the loud sound of the blast, and respiratory complications due to inhalation of toxic fumes and smoke. WHO sent emergency kits to 3 County and 9 Ri hospitals consisting of medical equipment, supplies and essential medicines. Caritas Hong Kong also provided some critically needed medicines on short notice in the first few days after the explosion.

WHO worked with the local authorities in Ryongchon to prevent outbreaks of infectious diseases and to establish a proper surveillance system for infectious diseases in the aftermath of the disaster. The disaster preparedness activities of DPRK Red Cross with the support of IFRC also contributed. It was crucial that some supplies, such as the WHO county

hospital kits already in the country, could be relocated to the hospitals handling the injured on short notice. However, the Ryongchon train disaster highlights the vulnerability of the weak health services to cope with any disasters or disease outbreaks. Storing WHO Emergency Health kits for future emergency use is necessary. This is particularly important because of the lack of basic supplies and essential medicines in health facilities throughout the country.

The reconstruction of Ryongchon, is now in its final stage, the state's official news media said in July. About 1,650 houses and 30 public buildings were almost rebuilt, and 5,500 other houses and 40 public buildings were in the final stage of repair work, the Korean Central News Agency said

WFP monitored the Ryongchon house construction project that was approved following the devastating train disaster. 117 out of 132 multi-storey apartment blocks supported by the WFP Food-For-Work project have been completed. In total, this project created 1,134 apartments for 5,500 persons who were affected by the train accident. Following the completion of this project, WFP will continue to support rehabilitation work in Ryongchon with food rations and some non-food items.

HEALTH AND NUTRITION

Summary of WHO's major achievements in DPRK 2001- 2004

Tuberculosis - WHO has supported the introduction and the gradual expansion of TB control using the DOTS strategy for five years. The DOTS programme reached 100% coverage of the country at the end of 2003. 52,591 cases of TB were diagnosed and treated for tuberculosis under this program in 2003. It is estimated about 30% would have died within five years without treatment.

Malaria - More than 85 % reduction of the reported number of malaria cases was achieved during the period 2001-2003 reducing the number of malaria cases to 38,920 in 2003. WHO has been the lead international agency supporting the national malaria program with anti-malaria drugs, microscopes and other laboratory equipment, impregnated bed nets and technical assistance and training.

Blood Banks - WHO rehabilitated the National Blood Centre in Pyongyang and the Provincial Blood Centre in Hamhung and introduced disposable blood bags to ensure access to safe blood. 30,000 units of safe blood will be provided in 2004.

Standardized Kits - WHO has developed standardized kits of equipment and consumables for support of community Ri clinics and County hospitals.1,972 Ri clinic kits have been provided during 2001-2004. 20 county hospitals will be upgraded with county hospital kits in 2004.

Essential Medicines - WHO has in cooperation with UNICEF, IFRC and UNFPA developed and updated the List of Essential Medicines for the use of international agencies. The objective has been to promote optimal provision and use of essential medicines. The 3rd edition of a Manual of Essential Medicines, based on the WHO Model Formula, was printed and 30,000 copies distributed to hospitals and clinics throughout the country.

Polio - WHO supported the establishment of the National Polio Laboratory and polio eradication activities including AFP surveillance throughout the country. The National Polio Laboratory was accredited by WHO in 2002.

Immunizations - WHO strengthened regular immunizations and cold chains in cooperation with UNICEF.

SARS - WHO Provided technical and material support for SARS prevention in 2003.

Training - About 200 health personnel went abroad on WHO fellowships during 2002-2003. The first Korean students to obtain post-graduate degrees in Master of Public Health completed their training in 2004. The fellowships are mainly funded from WHO's regular budget.

WHO is supporting a broad range of in-country training activities for health personnel every year, with particular attention to topics of public health significance, such as control of communicable diseases, maternal and child health and non-communicable diseases. WHO is also supporting activities such as development of nursing and midwifery, medical education and tobacco control. These activities, though only supported on a small scale, are seen as strategically important.

These achievements since 2001 which are outlined above have been made possible by contributions from ECHO, Government of Canada, Norway, Republic of Korea, Sweden and Rotary International.

WHO - Access to essential health services remains severely compromised

Humanitarian assistance to the health sector, although small in comparison to food aid, has resulted in significant improvements in important public health programmes such as EPI, polio eradication and control of tuberculosis and malaria. However, access to basic health care is still severely compromised because of a shortage of essential medicines, basic equipment and consumables, poor blood supplies and injection safety. In spite of international assistance, it is estimated that less than 50% of the need for essential medicines is currently met. Unlike other countries, DPRK does not have pharmacies where people can buy medicines when these are not available in the clinics or hospitals. The shortage of essential medicines will without doubt contribute to increased mortality and unnecessary suffering. Medicines and treatment for chronic diseases such as diabetes, epilepsy, cardiovascular diseases and cancer are hardly available, which especially affects the elderly population with a higher proportion of chronic diseases, but also children suffering from diseases such as epilepsy, cancer or heart disease. The current infrastructure problems with the shortage of electricity, water and proper heating have also a severe impact on the functioning of hospitals and clinics. Most hospitals and clinics have irregular electricity, with only a power supply for a few hours per day, and few hospitals have running water. Heating of hospitals during the harsh winter season remains a severe problem.

WHO - Review of the TB Control Programme Highlights the Need for Continuous Support: Despite encouraging progress in DOTS (Direct Observe Treatment, Short course) as pointed out in the recent review of the national TB program in May 2004, the programme requires continuing support. The review was carried out by two international TB experts from Global TB Drug Facility and WHO. With strong political commitment from the government of DPR Korea and support from a number of international agencies, such as the Global TB Drug Facility (GDF), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO), substantial efforts have been made during 1998-2004 in TB control. DOTS was introduced in 1998 and reached 100% geographical coverage in October 2003. 52,591 cases of TB were diagnosed and treated for tuberculosis under this programme in 2003. In 2003, the calculated all case detection rate was 241 per 100,000 and new smear positive (NSP) rate at 82.5 per 100,000.

WHO Malaria Situation Update: Peak of epidemic has passed, but more comprehensive and refined strategies are needed.

The number of malaria cases for the first half of this year was about five times lower than last year. A report from the Central Hygiene and Anti-Epidemic Institute showed that only 116 and 2,551 malaria cases were diagnosed and treated during the first and second trimester of 2004. However, the number of malaria cases in July alone (10,854) was still not far below the same period of last year (13,095).

WHO's assessment suggest that the decrease in number of malaria cases was largely attributed to improvement in diagnosis and treatment of malaria cases, availability of laboratory microscopic examination services and anti-malarial drugs, as well as chemo prophylaxis with primaquine for population in high risk areas. Vector control measures such as the use of insecticide for indoor spraying and impregnation of bed-nets are not widely implemented due to limited supplies.

Monitoring and supervision are still considered inadequate and have to be strengthened. The areas that need to be emphasized include: supplies and training on microscope care; expansion services for microscopic examination; implementation of laboratory cross-checking system; and effective planning on the use of insecticide impregnated bed-nets.

Mosquitoes are carriers of malarial parasites and rice fields are the major breeding places for Anopheles sinensis, the major vector in DPR Korea. A feasibility study on modification of agricultural practices has been considered as this might be helpful in reducing number of mosquito larvae in the rice fields. More focus on vector control is needed to further reduce the malaria problem in DPRK.

UNICEF - Iodized Oil Capsules were distributed to all pregnant women in Jaggang and Ryanggang provinces and to pregnant women in 6 counties in N. Hamgyong province and 11 counties in N. Pyongan in June and July. The total number of beneficiaries was more than 68,000 pregnant women.

UNICEF - Nutrition and care: On 13 and 14 July, the Ministry of Public Health organized a two day orientation on Early Childhood Development, Growth, and IECD strategy for a core group of staff from MOPH, including six senior government officials from three focus counties - Kowon, Kosan and Jongpyong. The core group will conduct a similar orientation to other staff members in the focus counties.

The Nutrition Assessment 2004, a joint effort of the Government of DPRK, UNICEF and WFP, is scheduled for October. A week-long visit of two consultants was completed, providing technical assistance to CBS and ICN in the preparation of the Nutrition Assessment. During this visit, the operational guideline for the Nutrition Assessment was prepared. The consultants' second visit is scheduled for the last week of September.

Triangle GH has started in July a new programme targeting vulnerable elderly population

Although elderly are clearly identified as a large vulnerable group in DPR of Korea (2.6 million of people are over 60 years old, 12% of the population), little is known on their health and living status and no projects are targeting directly this population to address their needs.

ECHO, OCHA, the German Embassy and the Swiss Cooperation are supporting this 10 months project, which has two main aims:

- the rehabilitation of three old people's homes, including supply of small medical equipment, farming and income-generating activities to improve the diet and living status of the residents;

- capacity building of Helpage DPRK, a Korean Association dedicated to elderly people issues.

There are 24 Old People's Homes throughout the DPR of Korea, housing about 5,000 elderly, normally those without families to support them. These institutions need water and sanitation, shelter and health care facilities and extensive rehabilitation to improve living conditions for the inhabitants of such homes. Triangle GH and Helpage DPRK will work in the Old People's Home of Sungho (Pyongyang district), Sinwon (South Hwanghae province) and Unpa (North Hwanghae province).

Exchanges with similar organizations abroad will be also important. Triangle GH and Helpage DPRK are already in contact with the Chinese National Committee for Ageing (CNCA) to organize at the end of this year a study tour for Helpage DPRK's staff in China.

ADRA DPR Korea recently completed the design phase for the construction of the new county hospital in Ryongchon following the devastating train blast in April. The new design has broken new ground in the design of county hospitals within the DPRK incorporating elements that improve efficiency in staff and patient movement, space utilisation, and patient comfort, as well as improving safety standards and improving the utility of clinical and patient care areas.

The design consultant contracted by ADRA DPR Korea undertook a detailed assessment of a district health facility, an assessment of the existing Ryongchon county hospital, and the new hospital site. Based on the existing energy supplies, the planned water supply, the current construction methods, and the health needs of the population, the building design should achieve the goals of cost effectiveness in construction, energy efficiency in operation, conformity to the surrounding environment, with the capacity to meet the population's future health needs.

In order to utilise this opportunity to have an impact beyond Ryongchon county, the design has been formed around a modular system. These modules have been developed with extensive consultation with the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and can be applied to any new county hospital construction or rehabilitation. Each hospital department has been designed around existing or preferred operational procedures and standard building shapes. This modular system has been enthusiastically endorsed by the MoPH and will aid them and international organisations in upgrading the health infrastructure throughout the nation.

The design phase of this project has been funded by the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC), with the construction and equipping of the hospital to be supported by ECHO, SDC, Caritas, WHO, and ADRA partners in the Republic of Korea, Australia, and Canada.

ADRA DPR Korea is currently undertaking county hospital rehabilitations in partnership with the WHO in South Hamyong province, and with the support of Germany is undertaking hygiene and nutrition distribution to 22 county hospitals in South Hamyong and North Hwangae provinces. ADRA has also completed hospital and child care institution rehabilitation at provincial level. In addition to these projects, ADRA has a number of other activities in the health, rural energy, economic development, and food aid sectors.

AmeriCares shipped a 40' container of medicines and medical supplies to the DPRK in July and is planning a follow up site visit to Pyongyang in September. Beneficiary institutions added to the distribution list include the baby home in Nampo and in Wonson, the city baby home, children's home and paediatric hospital. Also, in addition to the shipment of medicines and medical supplies, AmeriCares also shipped several small pieces of diagnostic and monitoring equipment for the Pyongyang Medical University Hospital, and the Sariwon and Pyonsong Paediatric Hospitals. While in Pyongyang, AmeriCares also intend to discuss the possibility of bringing a delegation of laparoscopic surgeons to DPRK to train diagnostic laparoscopy and laparoscopic surgery at Pyongyang Medical University.

UNFPA Logistic Management: 3 members of MoPH and Central Medical Store (CMS) with UNFPA Head of Office went to Laos for a LMIS (Logistic Management) software training organised by UNFPA. This software is already been used in Laos and Vietnam and UNFPA would like to extend its use to other countries where UNFPA is working. The software is going to be translated and adapted to the needs of DPRK and shared with the MoPH and the CMS.

UNFPA Reproductive Health Survey: UNFPA started a new Reproductive Health Survey in the 3 Provinces of the Bridging Activities. Professor Li Bohau was in DPRK in June and is collaborating very closely with the Central Bureau of Statistics and Population Centre in the ongoing progress of the survey.

UNFPA Training: the training for 200 doctors and midwives in basic Reproductive Health (funded by ECHO) has been conducted in June. 200 Ri hospitals were selected because of their need for strong support and their remote locations. The first part of the equipment and drugs has already been distributed and the FP methods will be in the Ri clinics soon.

Caritas Hong Kong signed an agreement for diapers, toys and PVC Flooring for 13 Baby Homes and 40 residential childcare institutions. The total value of this project is US$20,000 and it is expected to arrive in country by August 2004. Another agreement with Caritas Hong Kong for the provision of clothing for 10,000 children in 40 residential childcare institutions was signed on July 25. The total value of the project is US$ 42,000, and the goods are expected to arrive in September 2004.

IFRC Drug and equipment distribution: In June, 6,257 basic kits to be used during the third quarter were transported to city/county medical warehouses around the country. 2,670 remain in the central medical warehouse. 2500 household doctor kits donated by the Japanese Red Cross, Danish Red Cross and Norwegian Red Cross were distributed to 1759 health institutions in July. Six autoclaves funded by the Danish Red Cross arrived at Nampo port on 3 June, 2004. They were distributed in July to South Pyongan provincial hospital and Jongju, Yomju, Sunchon, Kaeson and Kophung city/county hospitals.

FOOD AID

WFP Operational Review

In July, WFP operations in the country continued to be severely under resourced and only 1.8 million beneficiaries out of a targeted 6.5 million received any assistance. More than two million core beneficiaries, including pregnant/nursing women and children in kindergartens and primary schools in the west did not receive any cereal rations. However, with the arrival of several wheat contributions, all but 900,000 beneficiaries will receive their cereal rations in August-September. The confirmation of two major contributions (total of 175,000mt) will allow WFP to resume distributions to all its 6.5 million beneficiaries from October onwards and pay back outstanding loans.

With the early harvests of wheat, barley and potatoes, the governmental Public Distribution System (PDS) ration went up to 300 grams of cereals per person per day (from 250 grams in June). The rations were mainly composed of potatoes, as most counties experienced losses in the wheat/barley harvest due to heavy rains. Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that as much as 30-50% of the spring cereal harvest had been damaged. The spring cereal harvest usually makes up approximately 5 percent of the total annual crop in DPRK, but comes in a critical period when main crop stocks (rice) are running low. Several partners reported damage to the seed stock in particular. Officials from the Flood Disaster and Relief Committee (FDRC) report that they do not plan to appeal for any additional support. People are coping with the cereal shortage by cutting down on number of meals and by eating more summer vegetables like cucumber, round cabbage, pumpkin and green peppers. These vegetables can be found in state shops in most counties and are often sold without any rationing. There are reports from some counties that the price of rice in the markets has increased dramatically, from 240 to 500 won/kg (US$ 1.60 - 3.33). With the average worker's salary being about 2000 won/month (US$ 13.33), this will strongly affect households' purchasing power.

As the lean season continues, people stretch cereal rations by mixing them with edible grass, and by eating larger quantities of vegetables. Rural families provide vegetables from their harvests to their urban relatives. In exchange they get items like second hand shoes, clothes, furniture, agricultural tools, seafood, school stationary and other industrial products. These transfers go on throughout the year but increase in size and scope at this time of the year for spring vegetables and in September-October for maize and potatoes

Monitoring

The DPRK government has approved a new set of checklists to be used by WFP staff during field visits. The new checklist for family visits will for the first time allow WFP to gain statistics on households' food intake and access to food. Previously WFP has had to rely on data from the last nutrition survey in 2002. 509 monitoring visits were conducted in June and 348 in July. There were no field visit cancellations during July. The relatively low number of field visits in July can be attributed to a shortage of WFP emergency officers due to reassignments and a one-week national holiday when no monitoring was permitted.

161 of 203 counties are accessible to WFP, representing 85 % of the civilian population.

FFW

In total, 95% of all FFW spring projects have been finally monitored. Out of these, 31% were found to have implementation problems, which resulted in a reduction of the second food instalment, totalling 612.5 mt. This food may be used for three projects currently under review: a SCF UK supported water supply project in Tanchon, a UNICEF supported water supply project in Hyesan and a drainage system rehabilitation project with FDRC in Hyesan. A fourth possibility is to use it for a FAO supported project for water tank construction for vegetable plots in urban kindergartens in the Northeast.

WFP organized a 10-day study tour to Indonesia for four national officers and government officials to study FFW projects. In particular they were impressed with the WFP subsidized rice programme which provides rice to the beneficiaries at lower-than-market prices with proceeds going to communities' water/sanitation projects, and with the active participation of local NGOs in WFP's TB patients' programme.

Local Food Production - July

The total output in July 2004 was more than 6,100mt, over 100% of the EMOP monthly requirement. This is the highest production figure since WFP started local food production in 1999. 15 factories out of 18 continued receiving Australian donated wheat flour, which resulted in high Cereal Milk Blend (CMB) production in Pyongyang. Biscuit production in the Hyesan factory was also above average and it was therefore decided to distribute biscuits to the children in Ryanggang Province also during the school holidays in August. With the continued shortage of sugar in the factories, the recipe of CMB was modified to replace sugar with wheat flour. This will remain the same also during August, despite the Caritas sugar donation, which arrived at the end of the month. This donation will be used in biscuit, Corn Soya Blend and Rice Milk Blend factories on the West Coast. WFP is planning to organize an independent quality control test for all types of food processed in the 18 LFP factories. This will tentatively be launched in August-September 2004.

Commodity Arrivals: 1,200mt of green peas and 800mt of vegetable oil donated from the US arrived at Hungnam port. 11,000mt of bulk wheat from Sweden and 47 mt of CSB, 641 mt of DSM and 200 mt of peas from the US arrived at Nampo port. 34,700mt of bulk wheat donated from Russia arrived at Nampo port in July.

FALU - June

Arrival of Donations

A donation from Diakonie Emergency Aid of 10.5 mt of pharmaceutical raw materials arrived on 1 June. The consignment was handled by UNICEF and consisted of mebendazole, sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim, amoxicillin and lupolen in support of the production of basic drugs at the Pyongyang Pharmaceutical Factory. The total value of this donation is US$ 73,650.

To meet the acute shortage of sugar in the LFP factories, an agreement was rapidly signed with Caritas / Diakonie for 700mt of Thai white sugar. The joint donation was received on July 28 and was distributed to 4 LFP factories on the West Coast. The total value of the shipment was US$197,400; US$30,000 of which came from Diakonie.

Caritas Hong Kong signed an agreement in June with FDRC for the implementation of a project to upgrade the Bopdong fish farm in Bopdong county (Kangwon). The project is run in collaboration with FDRC and UNDP. Following the donation, for a period of 2 years the Bopdong Fish Farm will deliver fresh fish free of charge twice per month to the Kangwon FDRC for the children's centre, the primary school and secondary boarding school in Wonsan, in total 5,760 kg. The value of this donation is US$ 40,900 and the ETA is September 2004.

World Vision shipped 12 MT of soybean seeds and 24 MT of fertilizer for soybean growing in June. The GMO-free soybean seeds were purchased in Australia and sent to North Korea for the reproduction of soybean seeds to meet demand for vegetable oil and increased protein intake. Half of the seeds will be planted in Mirim area nearby Pyongyang and another half in diverse areas across the country to better understand their adaptation to North Korean soil.

World Vision's agricultural consultant, Kim Un Kak (Korean-Australian), was invited to the International Scientific Symposium on Potato hosted by the KAAS (Korean Academy of Agricultural Sciences). The symposium was the 2nd one following the 1st one in September 2003 and was organized to share North Korea's success and experience with seed-potato production and other related issues with international experts.

Staffing Update - July

Mr. Masood Hyder, WFP Representative and UN Resident Coordinator left DPRK at the end of July for his new posting in Washington DC, after two years of service here.

Salvation Army launches new project in Democratic People's Republic of Korea

In an historic breakthrough, The Salvation Army and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) are working together to improve the nutrition of a rural community in the DPRK's South Hwanghae Province (Hwanghae-namdo). The Salvation Army is to provide equipment and training to establish a yoghurt processing and packaging plant, the first of its kind in the country.

Because of recent food shortages in the DPRK, the Government has been encouraging families and community groups to breed small farmyard animals. In the community of Gyenam, Sinwon District, alone there are now 1,000 goats. As their number increases so does the production of milk and dairy products but, without additional modern processing plants, much of the milk spoils before it can be processed or consumed. The Government of the DPRK has therefore identified the need for modern yoghurt packaging equipment in order to increase the production of this popular food beyond what can be consumed immediately. It has chosen to work in partnership with The Salvation Army to develop a packaging facility in this community. This project will benefit the people of Gyenam in a number of ways. Not only will the local milk collectives and farmers increase their income, but they will also be able to provide food of high nutritional value from milk resources that might otherwise spoil. This will be especially beneficial to vulnerable groups such as children and those who are elderly or infirm.

The role of The Salvation Army is to provide the packaging equipment, ship it to the community of Gyenam, install it, and train local technicians to use and maintain the machinery. The Swiss manufacturer states that it should work for a number of years without needing significant repairs or replacement parts. No similar equipment is found in the DPRK, however, so The Salvation Army will also supply spare parts, as well as the plastic containers and paper lids used in the packaging process.

Initially it will ship one million yoghurt cups pre-printed with a Salvation Army logo together with lids made of paper so as to minimise environmental concerns when they are discarded. This pilot project will be managed by the Switzerland, Austria and Hungary Territory, which will provide the initial resources to purchase and ship the equipment, with the support of AusAID funding secured through The Salvation Army's Australian territories. It is expected that this project will soon become self-supporting as the market for packaged yoghurt grows.

The Salvation Army recognises the fortitude and resourcefulness of communities in the DPRK, and the importance of self-sufficiency. This pilot project will give The Salvation Army an opportunity to use its expertise in community capacity development to provide practical assistance to the people of Gyenam, in cooperation with the Government of the DPRK, and at the same time offer them an example of an integrated Christian response to humanitarian needs.

WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL SANITATION

UNICEF - Water Supply: 100 boreholes and 68 hand pumps have been installed in 50 institutions in South and North Pyongan provinces, including Ryongchon, during the first half of 2004. An assessment on the water supply situation of two counties (Rinsan, North Hwanghae, and Unryul, South Hwnghae) has been carried out and a further joint assessment with MoCM is planned for August.

UNICEF - Sanitation: A school sanitation programme has been carried out in four primary and secondary schools in Kosan county, Kangwon province. 13 toilets and washrooms for school children were rehabilitated or newly constructed. Other school sanitation projects in another two counties (Kowon and Jongpyong in South Hamgyong province) will be completed in August. 1,525 household-sanitation units have been started in the Ris and county towns of four focus counties (Yonsan in North Hwanghae, Kosan in Kangwon, and Kowon and Jongpyong in South Hamgyong).

AIDCO Water and Sanitation Programme: CESVI has contributed to the water programme in Ryongchong by providing a drilling rig (funded by EU/AIDCO programme) for boreholes. The MoCM drilling unit in Ryongchon successfully drilled 4 boreholes under the supervision of IFRC in June.

CESVI/ECHO Water and Sanitation Programme in Pangyo County and Wonsan Provincial Hospital: In June a two day workshop on hygiene awareness took place both in Pangyo town and in Wonsan Provincial Hospital within the ECHO funded water and sanitation programme. In Pangyo the workshop mainly focused on environmental hygiene, personal and household hygiene and hygiene in public institutions for 20 attendants, hospital staff as well as children institutions' directors and AES staff. In Wonsan Provincial Hospital the workshop focused on hygiene related issues in public institutions for 20 attendants, out of which 10 doctors of the hospital and 10 directors of nurseries attended. 50 flipcharts have been printed and distributed to the attendants of the courses who will use them to disseminate the information through the principle of training of trainers. 50 folders containing teaching material have been printed and distributed to the attendants and 4,500 leaflets containing dissemination material for the population have been printed and distributed to each family in Pangyo.

IFRC - Water and Sanitation: 28 water supply systems have been constructed out of a total of 30 planned for 2004, and pumps for the 30 communities involved in water supply systems have been procured and distributed. DPRK Red Cross has produced in Korean a manual entitled "Construction and Management of Water Supply Systems in Rural Areas" to be used and distributed among their technicians involved in these projects. Distribution of additional pipes, cement and iron bars for the 30 villages has been completed and the selection of the 30 villages for water supply system for 2005 is ongoing. 320 household latrines have been constructed out of a total of 610 planned for 2004.

AGRICULTURE

FAO Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP): Currently there are seven projects being implemented by line ministries (Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries) comprised of a Soil Testing Facility, Conservation Agriculture pilot project, Goat Breeding operation, Forest Protection, Aquaculture, Marine Aquaculture and Rice Research. A sub-regional project also involving China, Republic of Korea and Mongolia was initiated, on Avian Influenza, to raise local capacity to identify and diagnose this disease and strains: as well as improving preparedness.

New Potato Project: This Project is to be implemented by the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) and the Academy of Agricultural Sciences (AAS). CFC is an inter-governmental financing institution and operates under the novel approach of commodity focus (in this case, potatoes) instead of the traditional country focus. The international Project Manager is a professor of crop breeding in the North East Agricultural University (NEAU) in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China: who will be based part-time in Pyongyang.

Sector Group seasonal activities included rice transplanting on Daesong Co-operative Farm and a seminar on Soil Fertility Management. Papers were submitted by AFSC and ACIAR on their Green Manure experiences. Other papers were presented on Composting and Urban Waste Management. FAO made a presentation on "Conservation Agriculture" (CA) which stimulated considerable debate and positive reactions. This was based on the CA approach being promoted in numerous other countries, with local experience on three (3) pilot farms in South Pyongan, Pyongyang and North Hwanghae.

Food Crops Situation: The June rains affected Spring crops whose yields were down, most especially Wheat and Barley. Although there were a few unfavourable reports on Early Potatoes, yields were generally good, between 15-18 tonnes per hectare in the Cereal Bowl region where Double Cropping is practised. The rains came as harvesting Spring grain crops was under way. Some farms in South Pyongan and South Hwanghae were hit badly by the heavy rain, more especially with increased relative humidity in early July, resulting in the premature re-germination of wheat. DWHH/GAA and Concern, both NGOs supporting cooperative farms' seed multiplication in those provinces, were hit.

Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) recently provided figures on Spring crops, with Winter Wheat yields ranging between 2.1 and 2.6 tonnes per hectare, the better yields coming from North and South Hamgyong and Kangwon. Some of the lowest yields were in South Hwanghae, normally the most productive province. Spring Barley yields ranged between 1.8 and 2.2 tonnes per hectare, with lowest yields in Jagang and North Hamgyong.

Visit of Director-General: FAO Director General, Mr Jacques Diouf, visited DPR Korea, 4-7 August. During the course of the visit, Mr Diouf visited 3 ongoing projects and had meetings with several line ministries and the President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly.

Crop Assessment: A joint FAO-WFP Crops and Food Supply Assessment Mission (CFSAM) is scheduled to visit DPR Korea during the harvest of the main summer crops. Actual period will be 18 September to 2 October 2004.

IFRC OPERATIONAL UPDATE

Disaster Management

DPRK RC organized Disaster Management training mainly targeting the branches in those areas most susceptible to flooding. In the light of this, DM workshop conducted in Nampo city 13-15 July 04. A total of 30 community volunteers were trained in the workshop.

The DPRK RC Kaesong city branch hosted the provincial disaster management working group meeting on July 29th 2004. The meeting aimed to share information on disaster management activities with community members and Red Cross volunteers. The provincial FDRC, Federation DM coordinator and two staff from the DPRKRC attended the meeting. The meeting discussed the lessons learned from 2003 floods in Kaesong and better co-ordination in the future.

Staff from the National Society's DM department together with the Federation's Disaster Management Coordinator made follow-up visits in regard to Red Cross CBDP activities in three ris from the 2003 project and ten new ris (altogether 13 ris) to review the documentation and risk mapping, and participate in the community level. Several trainings conducted by the community trainers who were trained in the CBDP Workshop.

Visiting delegations

Kathi Zellweger, Director of International Cooperation at Caritas in Hong-Kong was in DPRK between 5 and 15 June. During her stay she visited cooperative farm hospitals in South Hamgyong and Kangwon province and had meetings with the Ministry of Fisheries, the Association of Disabled and representatives of the international humanitarian community.

Peter Rottach and Aruun Kotenkar from Diakonie Emergency Aid Germany were in DPRK between 12 and 19 June. The mission visited cooperative farms in Megansan county in South Pyongan, to follow up on an agricultural project on nursery trees and orchards. They also met with representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and FDRC to arrange an exposure trip of a delegation of nationals to Vietnam in 2005.

Organisations, with programmes in DPRK, are invited to contribute to the Bulletin. NGOs from RO Korea are particularly encouraged to contribute information on their activities in the DPRK. Submissions can be emailed to ocha.dprk@wfp.org

The OCHA Office in DPRK produces this Bulletin on the basis of information supplied by contributing organizations and public sources. Swedish SIDA is funding the OCHA Office in 2004 - www.humanitarianinfo.org/dprk

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Richard Ragan
Humanitarian Coordinator a.i.Pyongyang
Tel: +8502-3817-221
Fax: +8502-3817-639
E-Mail: richard.ragan@wfp.org

George Murray
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 from www.humanitarianinfo.org/dprk or by e-mailing ocha.dprk@wfp.org.

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