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UN designates N. Korea as one of 44 countries in need of external assistance for food Updated: 2021-09-24 12:04:06 KST


The United Nations has designated North Korea as one of the 44 countries in need of external assistance for food.
In its latest quarterly 'Crop Prospects and Food Situation report' on Thursday local time, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization said a large portion of the North's population is suffering from low levels of food consumption and very poor dietary diversity.
It added that the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the population's vulnerability to food insecurity.
But it expected the main harvest of the year to reach households by October or November, leading to short-term improvements.
Earlier in May, the organization had forecast that North Korea would face a food shortage of around 860-thousand tons this year.
UNICEF also says nearly one in five children in North Korea are suffering from malnutrition.
Data from its 2021 Child Nutrition Report released earlier this week shows that 18-percent of the country's children under the age of five are suffering from malnutrition.
This is lower than in 2012 when it recorded 26-percent, but it is still a very high number compared to other countries.
The figures for South Korea and the U.S. were 2-percent and 3-percent respectively.
At the UN Food Systems Summit on Wednesday, the U.S. said it is looking for ways to ensure that the basic needs of people in Pyeongyang are met.
Citing an unnamed government official VOA news reported that this is something U.S. President Biden is very concerned about.
Bae Eun-ji, Arirang News.
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