Heavy rains in North Korea last month, which state media reported as being the worst in 40 years, caused significant damage but should not cause extreme food insecurity, according to the United Nations Development Program.
UNDP Resident Coordinator for North Korea Jerome Sauvage told Voice of America today, “There has been serious damage caused by the flooding in North Korea, but the food situation will not get worse.”
He explained, “There has not been a real disaster such as the destruction of crops because the fields were not submerged in stagnant water for long.”
Therefore, Sauvage said he has no plans to activate emergency measures, saying that the UNDP already has flood supplies and has received additional funding from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).
However, he said he cannot be sure if the long-term food supply will be affected, adding that a UN assessment team should be able to look into that issue more closely in September and October.
According to the Korea Meteorological Administration, average rainfall in North Korea last month was 353.0mm, by far the most since July, 1973, and 148% of the average rainfall in normal years.
Regionally, worst hit was Anju with 574.6mm, then 480.8mm in Pyongyang, 419.5mm in Hamheung, 412.7mm in Kimchaek and 396.1mm in Sariwon.