Nutrition Support for Women and Children

About this Operation

Operation Documents

Resource Situation

This Operation has been modified as per Budget Revision 3 (see below).

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which has a population of 24 million, has an index of 18.4 – classed as “serious” – in the International Food Policy Research Institute Global Hunger Index for 2009.

The country has been largely excluded from the processes of globalization, economic transformation and the expansion of information technology, and has experienced energy shortfalls and economic constraints; there is a need to modernize its transport and information infrastructures. There have been economic adjustments – the most recent is redenomination of the currency, in late 2009 – but it is too early to see the impact on the social and economic sectors.

Despite improvements in agriculture since the mid-1990s, the country suffers widespread food shortages: production is severely limited by input shortages, particularly fuel and fertilizers, and by vulnerability to natural disasters, the result of variations in climate and environmental degradation. Flooding in August 2007 caused extensive destruction of crops and farmland and led to an official request for emergency food assistance.

According to the Global Information and Early Warning System, the 2009 cereal harvest was below average despite slight improvements the previous year: the country requires 3.54 million mt of cereals for human consumption

WFP assessments during 2008 and 2009 and an additional 1.2 million mt for seed, animal feed, industrial use, post-harvest losses and stock changes for the 2009/10 marketing year. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that the country needs to import 1.25 million mt of cereals to meet its food requirements for 2009/10, but in view of economic constraints it continues to have difficulty in funding its large food imports.

The country has high rates of malnutrition compared with others in the region: 33 percent of children are stunted, and 20 percent are underweight; 25 percent of pregnant and lactating women are malnourished. Despite recent improvements, the rates of infant mortality and maternal mortality are still high according to the 2008 census. There is a need for continued targeted interventions with highly nutritious foods. indicated marginal improvements in food security, but public rations are insufficient, food consumption is poor and negative coping strategies are extensively used. The October 2008 crop and food security assessment mission indicated that 8.7 million people – 37 percent of the population – were in need of food assistance in 2008/09, including pregnant and lactating women and young children.

This operation follows emergency operation 107570, which responded to flooding and high food and fuel prices, signalling a return to the transition from emergency relief to recovery. Stakeholders were consulted and their feedback taken into consideration in the design. The operation covers only part of the food and nutritional needs of the population; it is based on assessments of the needs of the most vulnerable children, pregnant and lactating women and food-insecure or vulnerable households.

The goal of the operation is to enhance the food and nutritional security of 2.53 million beneficiaries in food-insecure areas. The objectives are to: i) restore and rebuild livelihoods and food and nutritional security; and ii) assist the Government’s strategy for food security by supporting local production of fortified foods. The objectives are in line with Strategic Objectives 3 and 5 and contribute to the achievement of Millennium Development Goals 1, 4, 5 and 7 and the United Nations’ Strategic Framework (2011–2015).

The Government is intent on avoiding dependence on international food assistance and is prioritizing measures to improve the food security of the population. It is clear, however, that in the short and medium term the agriculture sector will not be able to meet national food requirements and that additional economic investment and reforms and continued external assistance will be needed to promote sustainable food production and improved access to food.


Korea, Democratic People's Republic (DPRK)

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) continues to face regular, significant food shortages....