U.S. to donate agricultural commodities to North Korea
Following is the text of the announcement:
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
For Immediate Release
December 19, 2001
STATEMENT BY RICHARD BOUCHER, SPOKESMAN
More Agricultural Commodities Donated To North Korea
The Department of Agriculture announced today that the United States government will donate 105,000 metric tons of soybeans, vegetable oil, wheat, rice, and nonfat dry milk to North Korea. Funding will come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Section 416(b) food aid program, and the commodities will be allocated to the World Food Program's emergency feeding operations. This brings total U.S. food aid to North Korea since 1995 to 1.8 million metric tons, valued at $591 million.
We are pleased that North Korea has agreed to work with the United Nations to update its nutritional survey. However, it is important that North Korea continue to expand access to all areas of the country and to all vulnerable populations. We remain concerned about the portion of the population living in locales that are off-limits to international assistance. We urge North Korea to improve food aid monitoring and remove difficulties in obtaining visas for aid workers.
We encourage other donors to respond to the World Food Program's 2002 appeal for North Korea. Our donation reflects our longstanding policy of giving assistance to meet the identified humanitarian need of the North Korean people.