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Aid for Flood Victims in North Korea

  • August 24, 2007
 Government staff, workers and Pyongyang residents clear mud from the site of an amusement park in Pyongyang August 19, 2007. North Korean authorities have indicated flooding may have left up to 300,000 people homeless, a U.N. aid agency spokesman said on Wednesday, while the communist state warned of a poor harvest this year due to the heavy rain. JAPAN OUT
Photo:  Reuters/ Korea News Service

Some of the worst floods in North Korea’s history have devastated the Southern and Central regions of the country, killing hundreds and leaving tens of thousands homeless.  AmeriCares is preparing an emergency shipment of medicines and medical supplies to provide relief to the people affected by this disaster. 

“The impact of the destruction will be felt for months to come, both in terms of compromised access to medicines and medical care and persistent food insecurity,” says Shelly Malhotra, AmeriCares Program Manager for North Korea.

Fortunately, through its partner, Korea-America Private Exchange Society (KAPES), AmeriCares already had critical medicines and supplies on the ground, which KAPES is distributing to the flood victims.  AmeriCares has been providing relief to North Korea for ten years, and supplying KAPES with aid on a quarterly basis since 2000.  The recent delivery included antibiotics, nutritional supplements, multivitamins, cardiovascular medicines, anesthetics and analgesics.

The floods followed record high torrential rains in the region and have severely affected five provinces in the country.  In addition to the increased health risks brought on by the flooding, the crisis has resulted in a tremendous loss of farm crops such as rice and corn, which the people rely on for both their livelihood and for food.  This could cause a major food gap going forward.  The government has provided emergency relief needs for shelter and food, however essential medicines are still needed.  As a result, the AmeriCares existing donation and the emergency medical supplies being prepared are critical in helping the people of North Korea.