Korea, Democratic People's Republic (DPRK)

DPRK: Right Food Gives Confidence To Pregnant Women
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Published on 16 August 2012

Ms. Kim Yong Sim is being interviewed about the food intake in the household as part of WFP’s monitoring of assistance provided in DPR Korea

Often taken for granted, access to nutritious food during pregnancy can greatly impact a woman and her child's life -- as this young mother from DPRK tells our team.

SOUTH PYONGYANG - Twenty-nine-year old Kim Yong Sim from the urban up area of Anju City is expecting her baby in two months.  With her husband working at a power plant, her family, including her in-laws, are mostly reliant on the food rations provided by the state though the Public Distribution Centres (PDC).
 
Last month, each member of Kim Yong Sim's family received 10.05kg of cereals, however, this month the ration size has been decreased to 9.3kg.
 
Decreasing food rations can be challenging for vulnerable people, particularly pregnant women, when having the right amount of food is crucial to maintaining good health. Fortunately, through WFP's Mother and Child Health and Nutrition (MCHN) programme, Kim Yong Sim was able to receive WFP's food assistance since May 2012. Through MCHN, she gets three nutritious meals everyday without worrying about portion sizes in order to cope with food shortages. "I am thankful for WFP's food because it makes me feel very confident that I will be able to deliver a healthy baby," she says.
 
WFP is assisting over 300,000 pregnant and breastfeeding mothers in the country. Pregnant women receive fortified blended food for six months, and then for an additional six months during breastfeeding. Children aged 6–23 months also receive food assistance in nurseries. By targeting pregnant and breastfeeding women and their infants with complementary food, WFP does its best to ensure that children receive necessary nutrients during the first 1,000 days of their life span ensuring a healthy future.
 
Lack of nutrients during the first 1,000 days of life leads to malnutrition and irreversible consequences such as stunting. At the moment, more than 30 percent of children below five are stunted in DPRK.