Unification Ministry to send 50,000 tons of rice aid to NK via WFP
June 28, 2019
Global Korean Post
By Min Yea-ji and Lee Jihae
Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul on June 19 announced that the government will send 50,000 tons of domestic rice to North Korea as food aid.
“After considering North Korea’s food crisis and consulting with the United Nations (U.N.) World Food Program (WFP), we decided to donate 50,000 tons of domestic rice to the North,” he told a media briefing. “We will decide the time and scale for additional food aid after seeing how this round of donation goes.”
His ministry also said this aid shipment is in response to the WFP’s latest appeal to the world to alleviate the North’s food crisis.
According to a report released by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization and the WFP, North Korea’s rice production between last year and this year reached 4.9 million tons, the lowest since 2009.
On May 13, WFP Executive Director David Beasley held talks in Seoul with President Moon Jae-in. In the meeting, Beasley asked South Korea to provide food assistance given the severity of the North’s plight, saying the poor there were in dire need of humanitarian aid.
The WFP said in a news release, “The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today sincerely thanked the Republic of (South) Korea for a landmark donation of 50,000 metric tons of rice and US$4.5 million in cash for the humanitarian response to food needs in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).”