ROME – The Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), David Beasley, has concluded an official visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea from 8-11 May.
“I came to DPRK to listen, look and learn with an open mind. This visit has given me a first-hand opportunity to assess the needs and evaluate WFP’s operations on the ground. While there are significant challenges ahead, I am nevertheless optimistic. I see a country that is working hard to achieve food security and good nutrition. Since WFP began working here 23 years ago, much progress has been made, but much work lies ahead. There is a real need for continued humanitarian assistance, especially when it comes to meeting the nutritional needs of mothers and young children. I do believe that with hard work and support from around the world we’ll be able to make a difference.”
During his visit, Beasley spent two days in the capitol city Pyongyang meeting with senior government officials and two days visiting a number of WFP projects in different parts of the rural areas of the country. He travelled to Sinwon County in South Hwanghae Province where he saw a food-for-assets project in Komchon Ri village and visited a WFP-supported children’s nursery. He also travelled by vehicle from Pyongyang to Sinuiju City in North Pyongan province, visiting a local factory where WFP produces fortified biscuits for its projects.
WFP aims to assist 650,000 women and children in DPR Korea every month, providing highly nutritious, fortified cereals and biscuits that can address their nutritional needs. Funding shortfalls have meant that rations have had to be reduced and suspended in some cases.
Beasley’s visit to South East Asia continues with meetings in China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.
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The United Nations World Food Programme - saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding around 90 million people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.
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Greg Barrow, WFP/Rome, Gregory.Barrow@wfp.org Mob +39 342 807 9718