• Currently, less than 25 per cent of UN staff are present in Pyongyang, including UNICEF which is operating with only three international staff on the ground and the remainder working remotely outside the country. Due to movement restrictions in place no field monitoring visits have been undertaken since January.
• In June, UNICEF received expedited exemptions from the 1718 Sanctions Committee for humanitarian supplies (123 items including health, nutrition,
WASH, PME and Global Fund supplies worth US$4.5 million) with an exceptional 12-month validity period which is a most welcome improvement.
• Humanitarian funding requirements are currently 62 per cent underfunded thus limiting UNICEF’s ability to provide life-saving services for children across sectors. Existing vulnerabilities have most likely been further exacerbated by COVID-19.
As of end June 2020, UNICEF supplies received to avoid interruption of service delivery included:
• On 4 June, first ever shipment of BCG and Pentavalent vaccines reached Sinuiju in DPR Korea via land route from Dandong, China and onwards to Pyongyang. (Second shipment of BCG/Penta vaccines reached on 23 June)
• 28 containers of essential medicines, ORS, nutrition supplies, water purification tablets and essential medical kits were cleared by custsoms and delivered to the Central Medical Warehouse in Pyongyang.
• Additional US$1.66 million received from the Global Fund COVID-19 Response Mechanism to strengthen prevention of COVID-19 for TB and malaria programmes.