11 million North Koreans suffer from malnutrition: UN report

800px-pyongyang_100th_year_kim_il_sung_birthday_celebrations_08Nearly 43 percent of North Korean people (11 million) are suffering a chronic food shortage and ensuing malnutrition, a report by five U.N. agencies showed on Tuesday. It was a 2.6 million increase from 10 years ago, the report said, reflecting the North’s continuing food insecurity.

A major culprit behind these calamities is raging climate extremes in recent years, coupled with natural disasters that wreaked havoc on the North’s grain fields. International sanctions were considered another factor. The report is titled “The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World: Building Climate Resilience for Food Security and Nutrition.” The U.N. agencies involved are the World Health Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the World Food Program, the U.N. Children’s Fund and the Food and Agriculture Organization.

“Analysis in the report shows that the prevalence and number of undernourished people tend to be higher in countries highly exposed to climate extremes,” the agencies said. “Undernourishment is higher again when exposure to climate extremes is compounded by a high proportion of the population depending on agricultural systems that are highly sensitive to rainfall and temperature variability.”

By By Jung Da-min and Park Si-soo

(Korea Times)

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