New York

15 August 2013

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General concerning the appeal by the UN country team in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)

The Secretary-General welcomes the funding appeal by the United Nations Country Team in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), issued on 15 August, on humanitarian needs and priorities in the country this year.  The appeal identifies urgent, serious and genuine humanitarian requirements for the most vulnerable people in DPRK, particularly children, in the areas of food insecurity, malnutrition, healthcare, sanitation and more.

The lifesaving operations of the United Nations in the country remain drastically underfunded. The lives of many people are at stake, including children who are vulnerable to lasting suffering if they do not receive aid. The Secretary-General calls on prospective donors to respond to this serious situation. He stresses that humanitarian assistance should not be linked to political or security considerations.

In that regard, the Secretary-General appreciates the recent decision of the Government of the Republic of Korea to provide humanitarian aid to the DPRK through UNICEF. He hopes this move will inspire other traditional and potential donors to follow suit.