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Globalization - Countries - North Korea  see also Organizations

U.S. to donate 100,000 tons of
food to North Korea

Reuters 6/8/2002

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Responding to urgent appeals by the United Nations, the Bush administration said on Friday it would donate 100,000 tonnes of wheat, rice and other food to North Korea, where malnutrition has run rampant since floods devastated farm lands in 1995.

The UN's World Food Program in late May warned wealthy countries it would be forced to cut food supplies to more than one million people in North Korea due to a shortfall in funds and a slower pace in aid.

"This contribution will help to remedy an anticipated break in July of WFP's food aid pipeline for North Korea," the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) said in a statement.

USAID said the food aid would reach North Korea by the end of July and help feed one million people for six months.

North Korea, labeled by the United States as part of an "axis of evil" and as a state sponsor of terrorism, depends heavily on food aid to feed its 23 million people after being ravaged by several years of economic mismanagement, successive flooding and drought, and harsh winters.

"We are prepared to feed people in North Korea, in spite of our ongoing concerns regarding the policies of (its government)," USAID said.

It said future food aid to the Communist state would depend on whether North Korea lifted restrictions on monitoring food aid programmes.

The U.S. donation includes 76,000 tonnes of U.S. wheat, 15,000 tonnes of rice and 9,000 tonnes of dairy products. Funding for the commodities will come from the U.S. Agriculture Department's Section 416b food aid programme, which was created to respond to emergency needs and reduce U.S. crop surpluses.


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