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WFP DPR Korea Country Brief, January 2017

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Highlights

  • Due to funding shortages, WFP has been forced to reduce its rations for children and pregnant and nursing mothers. If no new funding is received by the end of March, WFP will have to stop assistance to kindergarten children and eventually to reduce its geographic scope in DPRK.

  • Nutrition assistance in the flood-affected areas continued in January and reached 30,818 people. This assistance will continue until the end of winter in March, with a 100 percent food ration.

  • Final food distributions for food for recovery activities took place in January in three floodaffected counties in North Hamgyong province, reaching 114,312 people.

Operational Updates

  • Funding constraints have forced WFP to reduce its rations for children and pregnant and nursing mothers. Now two-thirds of the standard ration (66 percent) of fortified cereals and biscuits is being provided – the minimum to have a nutrition impact. If no new funding is received by the end of March, WFP will be forced to first stop rations to kindergarten children, and eventually to reduce the geographic scope of its assistance in the country. This will leave the most vulnerable children and women without vital nutritious food and at risk of malnutrition.

  • WFP reached 823,687 people with 2,566 mt of food in January, including through nutrition support, Food for Disaster Risk Reduction (FDRR) activities, and flood recovery support.

  • Nutrition assistance, as part of WFP’s flood recovery support, reached 30,818 children and pregnant and nursing women in January. Assistance is provided to the three counties worst affected by the floods of August-September 2016: Musan, Yonsa and Hoeryong in North Hamgyong province. Nutrition assistance in the flood-affected areas will continue until March 2017, with a 100 percent food ration.

  • Final food distributions took place in January for food for recovery activities in the three flood-affected counties. Take-home rations of soy beans and cooking oil were provided to 114,312 people. Rations aim to diversify families’ diets with protein and fat. A total of 13.6 km of river embankments were rehabilitated through the recovery activities. WFP’s assistance contributed both to rebuilding assets in flood-affected counties and helping to offset future disaster risks.

Challenges

  • It is estimated that crop production improved in two out of every three counties that WFP visited during the last quarter of 2016. However, there was an estimated 20 percent reduction in the potato harvest in Ryanggang province, due to continuous rainfall between August and September, which is seasonally an important period for potato growth. The actual situation will be confirmed as soon as the national harvest figures are provided by the Government. Partnerships WFP partners with the National Coordinating Committee (NCC) under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This partnership facilitates WFP access to the counties covered by the operation. WFP supports 11 local factories, which produce fortified cereals and fortified biscuits. The Government contributes by providing factories, warehouses, staff, electrical power and maintenance. The Government is responsible for transporting ingredients from ports to factories, and distributing fortified foods directly to WFP-supported institutions, or through Public Distribution Centres (PDC’s) for pregnant women and nursing mothers.