‘Massive efforts’ under way in flood-hit northern DPRK require additional support – UN

Flooding in DPR Korea, caused by Typhoon Lionrock, has displaced thousands of people and destroyed homes, buildings and other critical infrastructure in the north-east of the country. Photo: UN / Marina Throne-Holst

28 November 2016 – While nearly 12,000 families in northern Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK) have moved into new houses three months after devastating Typhoon Lionrock destroyed their homes, the United Nations is reporting that this “massive effort” still needs additional support so damaged water networks can be repaired and essential medicines and nutritious foods can be provided.

Local authorities in North Hamgyong province say that repairs were made to 17,698 households, including 11,928 new homes built for families. Local agencies have also been providing flood-affected people with food, medicine, shelter, water and sanitation assistance, warm clothes and household items to meet the immediate needs. In addition, the Government issued a special request for the agencies to contribute towards roofing for the new homes and public institutions.

Following a joint mission between the DPRK Government and humanitarian agencies working in some of the country’s worst flood-hit areas, Tapan Mishra, the UN Resident Coordinator in DPR Korea, said it was inspiring to see first-hand all the work that has been gone into rehousing of the displaced people, rebuilding hospitals, clinics, schools and repairing damaged infrastructure.

“While there is no doubt that massive efforts have been made to bring relief to the people in the affected areas, especially to provide housing as a priority before severe winter sets in, additional support is still needed. More than 27,000 hectares of agricultural land was inundated by the flood waters, while kitchen gardens were destroyed and livestock killed. All of these will take time to replenish. In addition, water networks in the affected counties remain partially broken, while essential medicines and nutritious food continue to be a pressing need to prevent malnutrition and outbreaks of disease.”

Mr. Mishra also stated that this mission provides a great opportunity to evaluate flood-affected areas and discuss possible solutions with the national authorities, including how they can work together to meet the basic needs of the people as the winter is around the corner. He also added that despite generous support from the donors, more assistance is still urgently required to make sure than no one is left behind.

At the end of August, Typhoon Lionrock struck northern DPRK, damaging many lives and property, and bringing the cost of the response to be $29 million according to Flood Emergency Response Plan. To date, humanitarian agencies in DPRK have raised only $12 million.


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