FAO in the 2019 humanitarian appeal: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea - Needs and priorities 2019

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to assist
513 000 people

FAO requires
USD 10 million

January – December 2019

Natural disasters contribute to annual reductions in end of year harvests, which could further increase food insecurity. Therefore, it is critical to ensure that diverse and nutritious food is available for and accessible to those most in need

In agriculture-reliant Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, food insecurity and malnutrition are widespread. Recurrent natural disasters significantly affect agricultural and food production.


• Improve sustainable food-based approaches to help expand domestic food production so that supply levels of staple and nutritious foods are adequate to feed the population.

• Strengthen resilience of cooperative farms and small-scale farmers to help contend with recurrent shocks and climate-related disaster events.

Increase availability of and access to diverse, nutritious foods

seeds | fertilizer | plastic sheets | irrigation pump | hand tools | small ruminants | cooperative support | technical maintenance training

Environmental rehabilitation and disaster risk reduction

capacity building for food production | agricultural production support | building productive assets | embankments repair | dam and irrigation systems construction or rehabilitation

Impact on food security

Chronic food insecurity and malnutrition is extensive in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The strong link between food insecurity and malnutrition means any negative impact on agriculture and food production has widespread and long-lasting impacts and compounds the already widespread undernutrition that exists throughout the country. In resource-poor settings, food scarcity leads to poor dietary quality for many people, with limited consumption of food that is rich in protein, fat and micronutrients. This means most people do not consume an adequately diverse diet, which reinforces cycles of undernutrition, particularly among women and children. The country is critically dependent on agriculture for its food security, which has been severely affected over the past six years by natural disasters, such as floods and drought, which erode farmers’ coping capacities. Even relatively small-scale events can have serious impacts on food production. Each year, the domestic food production does not meet needs by approximately 1 million tonnes, due to not only natural disasters but also shortages of arable land, lack of access to modern agricultural equipment and fertilizers. Due to these impacts, food insecurity is expected to increase, particularly among the most vulnerable.

One of the major challenges facing the country is enabling the agriculture sector to cope with the impacts of climate change by building capacities in climate change adaptation, early warning systems, disaster preparedness, response and recovery, as well as building back better (construction planning and standards). In 2019, productive assets need to be restored if hit by natural disasters and enhanced to ensure continued supply of food and other essential services for people in need. In addition, unrelenting gaps in nutritional status between rural and urban populations need to be reduced.