Korea, Democratic People's Republic (DPRK)

DPR Korea: A Few Words From Ju Hye-Sim On A Healthy Pregnancy
Published on 9 March 2012

WFP provides special nutritious rations to pregnant women from the first trimester of the pregnancy.


Ju Hye-Sim lives with her husband in Chongnam, in DPR Korea’s South Pyongan province. As a pregnant woman from a poor household, she received specialised nutritious food from WFP from the first trimester of her pregnancy, until six months after her child was born. This assistance is part of WFP efforts to ensure newborn children are given the best possible start in life in a country where under-nutrition is a chronic and widespread problem.


Hye-Sim is a 26-year-old housewife. Her husband works in a nearby coal mine. Their living space is limited and she has no space in which to grow additional food or raise animals. As a result, she and her family are almost completely dependent on the rations they receive through the Public Distribution Centre (PDC).

“The PDC ration is not enough to survive on,” says Hye-Sim. “As a result, my aunt who lives nearby has always helped me with food such as maize, potatoes, vegetables and so on. However, she has her own limitations and sometimes she could not help me at all leading to a stressful situation for my family. 

“I have been receiving WFP food rations since October which has helped my family eat properly and contributed a more stress-free life, especially, during my pregnancy.”

She smiles, then says that she worked as a nurse in a hospital before she got married and so appreciates the importance of fortified food for pregnant women. “I am grateful to WFP for providing the food ration. Though wheat is not our staple food, I mixed it with rice and started to like it!”



WFP Offices
About the author

Marcus Prior

Deputy Head of Programme

Marcus, a former journalist, has worked in WFP Communications for 10 years in Africa and Asia. Deputy Head of Programme in Afghanistan, currently deployed in Iraq for a mission.