ECHO Factsheet DPRK – October 2018

News and Press Release
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10.3 million people are undernourished

6.2 million people were affected by natural disasters in 2004-2016

EU humanitarian funding: €135.7 million since 1995


According to information released by the United Nations, more than 40% of the total population (25 million people) are undernourished, have limited access to basic services, and are in need of humanitarian assistance. As humanitarian organisations have not been able to conduct assessments in the country over the past few years, the current situation remains unclear. The country is also prone to extreme weather conditions, particularly droughts, floods, and storms.

What are the needs?

Due to the international sanctions adopted against North Korea in early 2013, international bank transfers into the country are more difficult to carry out, which affects the functioning of humanitarian agencies.

The food and nutrition situation remains fragile and subject to deterioration in case of shocks. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), crop production in 2017 was severely affected by a prolonged dry spell, which threatened food security for a large part of the country's population. The overall chronic undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies across the country remain worrying. Although child undernutrition has steadily declined over the past decade, additional efforts are required to improve children's condition. According to the latest nutrition survey in 2012, stunting (low height compared to age) prevalence was reported at 28%, which is considered a “medium” public health concern by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Recurrent natural disasters, ranging from extended droughts and severe flooding to occasional typhoons, compound people’s vulnerabilities and need for humanitarian assistance.