Caritas sends aid to N Korea
Caritas Korea delivered 100 tons of flour to North Korea Thursday, soon after Seoul granted approval for civilian food aid, reports Xinhua.
July 28, 2011
South Korea had virtually suspended aid to its northern neighbor following two deadly incidents last year that killed 50 South Koreans.
The rare government authorization was granted in consideration of guarantees of transparency in aid distribution, and is in line with its stance that only humanitarian aid for the most vulnerable will be permitted, according to the Unification Ministry.
Separately, in an analysis for Eureka Street earlier this month, Lucas Smith wrote: "A brutal winter, flow-on effects of the disastrous currency revaluation of 2009 and a poor harvest are contributing to dire conditions in the one-party state. The World Food Program recently announced an aid program in to 'help feed 3.5 million people suffering from hunger".
"The UN has reported that up to six million may be at risk of starvation in coming months. The same assessment found that only four per cent of North Korean households consume the recommended amount of calories in a western diet.
"Recent reports of people boiling tree bark and grass for sustenance sound chillingly like reports from the 1990s when an estimated 2–3 million North Koreans died of starvation."
FULL STORY AND RELATED COVERAGE
S. Korean Catholic group delivers flour to DPRK (philstar.com/Xinhua)
North Korea's human rights time bomb (Eureka Street)
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