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Democratic People's Republic of Korea Interim Country Strategic Plan (2019-2024)

Operation ID: KP02

ICSP approved at EB.1/2019

Revision 01 approved by the RD in December 2020.

Revision 02 approved by the RD in March 2022.

Revision 03 approved by the RD in November 2023.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea continues to face a wide range of challenges, despite the fact that for several years, the country’s food supply has been remarkably stable. However, the protracted humanitarian situation continues to pose significant challenges, together with recurrent natural disasters that exacerbate vulnerabilities.

Food insecurity is widespread. Around 10.3 million people – more than 40 percent of the population – are undernourished.1 A 2017 multiple indicator cluster survey shows that despite improvements in national rates of chronic malnutrition there are marked disparities between rural and urban areas, with five provinces having above-average stunting rates as high as 40 percent. Meanwhile, a lack of recent data continues to hinder contextual analysis and the monitoring of progress towards Sustainable Development Goal targets. The limited information available appears to show modest gains towards Sustainable Development Goal 2 targets, although progress is uneven, and the evidence is inconsistent.

WFP will support the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in achieving zero hunger in a manner that protects the food security and nutrition gains made so far while preventing undernutrition, especially among children, pregnant and lactating women and girls and other nutritionally vulnerable groups and while helping men and women become more resilient to natural disasters. This supports the first strategic priority – food and nutrition security – of the United Nations Strategic Framework 2017–2021 for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in line with Sustainable Development Goal 2 and Strategic Objective 2 of WFP’s Strategic Plan (2017–2021).

WFP will support the country in ending hunger and malnutrition through three strategic outcomes:

  • Strategic outcome 1: Children under 7, pregnant and lactating women and girls, and tuberculosis patients in targeted counties have stabilized or improved nutrition, particularly micronutrient status, by 2025;
  • Strategic outcome 2: people vulnerable to disasters and food insecurity in targeted counties are able to meet their food and nutrition needs during and after shocks and stresses by 2021;
  • Strategic outcome 3: crisis-affected people have access to food all year.

While maintaining its current strategic orientation under the interim country strategic plan, WFP will work towards renewed strategic and operational engagement with the Government and will be prepared to scale up activities or shift its programmatic focus should circumstances permit. In a four-phase approach, WFP will explore options for a tailor-made national strategic review; plan for programme shifts informed by analyses and assessments that integrate gender and age; use a tiered approach to conducting assessments; and engage with the Government in multi-disciplinary areas relevant to food security such as disaster risk reduction, climate change and the environment.

Following a particularly tense year, 2018 ushered in renewed diplomatic activity and commitments aimed at achieving peace. While it is difficult to predict how the peace process will progress, this interim country strategic plan is designed to take any developments into account. It is of paramount importance that humanitarian assistance remains independent of political considerations.