WFP in a Tight Spot for 2013

The World Food Programme (WFP) has revealed that food support for North Korea hit a two-year low during the month of August. According to WFP, cited by Radio Free Asia (RFA), food aid to North Korea this year has shown a declining trend since February: more than 3000 tons in January; 6000t in February; 4000t in March and April; 3000t in May and June; 2900t in July; and 2050t in August, the lowest amount of food aid given since 200t in August of 2011.

Nana Skau, the WFP’s North Korea spokesperson, explained to RFA that the organization was planning to provide food aid to 743,000 North Korean civilians this year, but has not been able to provide as much as planned. She added that the production of nutritional biscuits for school children has been halted.

This, Nana explained, is because funding from the international community has fallen dramatically, meaning that the aid budget for North Korea was reduced starting in May.

WFP has thus far collected roughly $86 million, about 56% of a budgeted $153 million. WFP plans call for the provision of nutrition-boosting products to about 2.4 million North Korean people in vulnerable social groups, most notably children and pregnant women, between last July and next June. However, currently they are reaching less than 1/3 of that plan.

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