DPR Korea: Special Focus of East Asia Appeal No. MAA54001 Report 2006-2007


This report covers the period of 1 January to 31 December 2006 of a two-year planning and implementation process.

In a world of global challenges, continued poverty, inequity, and increasing vulnerability to disasters and disease, the International Federation with its global network, works to accomplish its Global Agenda, partnering with local community and civil society to prevent and alleviate human suffering from disasters, diseases and public health emergencies.

In brief

Programme Summary:

The measures introduced by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) government to reinforce its demand for closure of all "humanitarian aid" assistance at the end of 2005 imposed significant operational constraints on the programmes originally planned by the DPRK Red Cross and Federation. All programmes were reviewed and the working methodologies and budgets adjusted, with more responsibilities delegated to the DPRK Red Cross. The Federation delegation was restructured to have fewer international delegates, more local professional staff and an increased active involvement of technical expertise from Red Cross partners.

Within this changing context, the DPRK Red Cross and Federation succeeded in implementing an extensive, although slightly adjusted, programme of assistance to some of the most vulnerable communities in DPRK in 2006. The major parts were the distribution of basic medical supplies and equipment for primary health institutions, rehabilitation of water and sanitation systems in communities and improved disaster management at national and local levels. The status and legal position of the national society was strengthened by the adoption of a new Red Cross law in early 2007, for which extensive preparations had been carried out in 2006. The budget for 2006 was fully covered thanks to the continuing support of numerous donors, and spending approached 100 percent.

Needs: Total 2006-2007 budget CHF 28.7 million (USD 23.5 million or EUR 17.4 million), out of which 56.6 percent is covered. Click here to go directly to the attached financial report.

Financial analysis for DPRK component only

Health & care








Coordination &





Budget 2006-2007
Appeal coverage 2006-2007
46.01 %
31.79 %
19.96 %
64.71 %
43.96 %
Budget 2006 only
Expenditure for 2006 only
Expenditure against budget 2006 only
82.91 %
30.95 %
47.44 %
74.17 %
75.36 %

No. of people we help: The programmes supported by the Federation and DPRK Red Cross serve a target population of 8.76 million people in five out of the 12 provinces in the DPRK. Children 0-14 years of age comprise 26.5 percent of the total population and the ratio of male - female is 50.5 to 49.5 per hundred. Much data is confidential in the DPRK and therefore the actual number of beneficiaries assisted by all the programmes is often difficult to calculate. However according to available information, the health institutions received more than 20 million patient visits during the course of 2006.

Our Partners: The DPRK Red Cross and Federation worked in close contact with over 20 government agencies and community and national level entities and Red Cross Movement partners, as well as all the main UN and other international organizations present in DPRK.

Current context

Social, economic and political isolation continued to be the main factors influencing the living standards of the general population in the DPRK. These conditions, along with irregular and insufficient energy supplies, thwarted a substantial improvement in the health of the population, and thus the programmes of the Federation and other agencies continued to play a significant role in the care for vulnerable people.

As of January 2006, the DPRK government enforced directives to halt humanitarian aid and requested aid agencies to focus on development. Ongoing Humanitarian Aid Department of the European Commission (ECHO)-funded non-governmental organizations' (NGO's) projects were taken over by the newly- established European Support Unit and it took all aid agencies a number of months to get fully operational again under the new conditions. These measures also seriously affected the operational structure of the Federation delegation in Pyongyang. From the beginning of 2006, permanent international delegates were reduced to three managerial posts and two technical delegate posts (health and water/sanitation) were permitted only on a temporary basis (i.e. having to leave the country and renew their visas). Consequently, additional sector-specific programme officers were recruited from the DPRK Red Cross and all programmes, in particular the health and water/sanitation activities, were adjusted accordingly. The programme implementation was further supported by an increased direct involvement of Red Cross partners by providing short- term technical expertise in the areas of health, water and sanitation, organizational development (OD), IT and disaster management (DM).

Notable external events also influenced the operational environment. The government's underground nuclear test in early October stirred worldwide condemnation and stern discussions in the UN Security Council. Consequently, the council unanimously adopted resolution 1718 which blocks a range of goods from entering or leaving the DPRK and includes the freezing of DPRK assets.

On 18 October, 2006, the DPRK Red Cross Society celebrated its 60th anniversary. A "Commemoration Reporting Session" was held in the Grand People's Study House with the participation of more than 700 Red Cross members and volunteers as well as international representatives of the Federation and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The vice-president of the Standing Committee of the Supreme People's Assembly and the chairman of the DPRK Red Cross reviewed the achievements of the national society over the past 60 years and paid tribute to the founder of the DPRK Red Cross Society. The national media reported the event extensively.

For further information please contact:

The DPRK Red Cross Society: Min Byong Gwan (secretary general); phone: +85.02.381.4350, fax: +85.02.381.3490

Federation DPRK country delegation: Mr. Jaap Timmer (head of delegation); jaap.timmer@ifrc.org; phone: +85.02.3814350, fax: +85.02.3813490

Federation regional delegation in China: Mr. Alistair Henley (head of East Asia regional delegation); alistair.henley@ifrc.org; phone: +86.10.65327162, fax: +86.10.65327166.

Federation secretariat in Geneva: Ms. Ewa Eriksson (regional officer, Asia Pacific department); email:ewa.eriksson@ifrc.org; phone: +41227304252; fax: +41.22.7330395

To support or find out more about the Federation's programmes or operations, click on www.ifrc.org