IFRC Democratic People's Republic of Korea Program Overview 2019



Strategic Objectives

  1. Reduce preventable mortality and morbidity through access to basic health services and psychosocial support as well as epidemic prevention, control and community surveillance.

  2. Enhance the resilience of vulnerable communities in disaster prone areas through Integrated Community Programming (ICP) combining health, water and sanitation, disaster risk reduction and livelihoods. Improve the nutrition status of the most vulnerable people using a multi-sectoral approach that includes food security and screening for acute malnutrition.


The humanitarian situation: Around 10.3 million people, comprising 41 per cent of the total population, are considered undernourished, with one out of five children under five years being stunted and face impaired physical and cognitive growth. Meanwhile, there is still a 40–60% gap in provision of essential drugs and basic medical equipment, and 20% of population do not have access to clean water and adequate sanitation. In rural areas two in three households have no regular supply of water and the burden of water collection falls primarily on women and children. Around 6 per cent of the population spend more than 30 minutes each day collecting water. In total, 90 per cent of the population in rural areas and 30 per cent in urban areas live in environments that carry potential health risks from the unsafe disposal of human excreta or the use of unimproved sanitation facilities.

Disasters: Between 2004 and 2016 an estimated 6.2 million people were affected by natural disasters, including alternating floods and droughts.Annual disasters pose a threat to lives, food security, livelihoods and shelter. In 2016 the worst floods affected 600,000 people and around 70,000 were displaced in North Hamgyong. Then, the prolonged dry spell of 2017 significantly affected total food production—7.4 per cent less than in 2016. In August and September 2018, the IFRC launched three Disaster Relief Emergency Funds (DREFs), which assisted vulnerable communities to safeguard crops during extreme heat, respond to Typhoon Soulik, and cope with floods and landslides in North and South Hwanghae. The DPRK RCS is the only state civil society partner capable of responding to these disasters in a timely and efficient manner.

Integrated Community Programming (ICP): Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Red Cross Society (DPRK RCS) has the ambitious target of reaching 200 communities through integrated programming, which represent an additional target of around 1,000,000 people by 2020. Using vulnerability capacity assessment for planning purpose, Integrated Community Programming (ICP) include water and sanitation, community-based health and first aid, disaster risk reduction, livelihoods as well income-generating activities whenever possible to ensure their sustainability. They rely on community engagement mechanisms to collect feedback and involve communities from design to implementation phases through baseline, midline and endline surveys. Since the launch of these programmes in 2014, DPRK RCS has achieved community resilience through a decrease of morbidity (22.6%) and mortality (18.2%), reduction of casualties, much reduced losses after disasters, increased risk awareness and enhanced livelihoods. These programmes will remain the priority focus in 2019 and 2020, with a focus on disaster-prone communities, and form DPRK RCS contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals and Sendai Framework on disaster risk reduction.

UN Sanctions: The capacity to respond to emergencies and carry out resilience programmes is directly impacted and hampered by the current UN sanctions that have resulted in decreased financial support, increased needs and restrictions on the provision of life-saving materials for disaster response, livelihoods, health and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion (WASH) interventions.

Appeal to partners: The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) for the Democratic People’ Republic of Korea (DPRK) will mobilize technical and financial resources to enable the DPRK Red Cross Society (DPRK RCS) to respond to the country’s most pressing needs. The ambitious 2year plan aims to reach 2.7 million people in 26 communities, and will focus on integrated programming and the strengthening of DPRK RCS organisational sustainability. The IFRC Operational Plan 2019–2020 for the DPRK is based upon the DPRK Red Cross Society Strategic Plan 2016–2020 with its emphasis on promoting sustainable resilience in target communities.