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Humanitarian Crisis in North Korea: AmeriCares Responds

  • January 7, 2003

New Canaan, CT, January 7 2003 – AmeriCares continues to aid famine victims in North Korea, where severe floods and droughts have devastated the country’s agriculture during the past three years, leading to severe food shortages. A recent nutrition survey by the World Food Program in North Korea found 62 percent of the children were stunted and severely malnourished due to long-term food deprivation.

Hospitals in Pyongyang and other cities often lack heat, medicine, and supplies, and they experience frequent power outages and outbreaks of infection. Hospitals do not generally provide food for patients. Reagents for diagnosing infectious diseases such as tuberculosis are generally unavailable.

To aid the victims there, AmeriCares delivers relief supplies twice-a-year. Included in each shipment are life-saving nutritional supplements, antibiotics, vitamins, gastro-intestinal medicine, antidiarrheals and infant formula.

The relief supplies are dispensed by the North Korean Flood Damage Rehabilitation Committee to patients and residents at three hospitals and two orphanages that AmeriCares supports.

Since 1997, AmeriCares has provided North Korea with 650,000 pounds of humanitarian supplies, valued at over $13,000,000.

For more information regarding AmeriCares’ relief operations in North Korea, or to schedule an interview with an AmeriCares relief worker, please call Elizabeth Griffin, Director of Communications, at 1-800-486-HELP.