Monday 6 May 2019

North Korea regime slashes food rations to just 300g per person, per day

World Food Programme warns famine could take hold within next few months if action is not taken

North Korea has slashed official food rations to just 300g per person per day after suffering its worst harvest in more than a decade, the United Nations (UN) has said.

The country could face famine within a matter of months, the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) warned.

A year of unexpected dry spells, heat waves and flooding, as well as well as ongoing international economic sanctions have all been blamed for the severe shortages.

The dire assessment comes after authorities in the secretive communist state asked the WFP to assess its food security.

It found the country was some 1.36m tonnes short of supplies and estimated 40 per cent of the population – about 10.1 million people – do not have enough to last until the next harvest in the autumn.

Mario Zappacosta, a senior economist at the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation, who worked on the assessment in April, said: “It used to be they only reached this low level in July, August, and September. If the international community does not take action somehow, and quickly, there are some social groups who will suffer - the kids, the pregnant women, lactating mothers."

Speaking to the BBC, he added: "This year they have had a real series of weather shocks. They had everything. Low rains, then a heat wave, then floods."

The US blamed the North Korean government, saying its chronic mismanagement was responsible for the potential tragedy.

A spokeswoman for the state department said the "regime continues to exploit, starve, and neglect its own people in order to advance its unlawful nuclear and weapons programme."

North Korea has continually struggled with food production under the decades of its one-party rule.

A famine is estimated to have killed up to three million people in the mid-1990s, while, even at times of high production, most citizens live off just 500g of food a day, mainly consisting of rice and kimchi.

(Source: Independent)

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