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North Korea hit by food shortages

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Seoul: North Korea is facing severe food shortages after being hit by its worst drought in more than 15 years, the United Nations said, calling for urgent food imports to stop children from going hungry.

A severe lack of rainfall in the first half of this year has badly damaged vital harvests in a country where malnutrition is already widespread, according to the report by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Seasonal rainfall has dropped below 2001 levels and could cause “a sharp deterioration in food security conditions of a large part of the population”, said Vincent Martin, FAO Representative in China and North Korea.

“Immediate interventions are needed to support affected farmers and prevent undesirable coping strategies for the most vulnerable, such as reducing daily food intakes,” Martin added.

The FAO, which maintains a permanent office in North Korea, said that more than 50,000ha of farmland have been severely affected by this year’s prolonged dry spell, particularly crops of rice, maize, potatoes and soybean.

Women, children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to food shortages, with undernutrition a major cause of maternal and child mortality.

Source by: Internet

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