issued weekly by the United Nations World Food Programme
Report No. 19 of 1997 Date: 9 May 1997


1. Update

a) Vessel with US food aid begins offloading in Nampo port, the first emergency food aid to arrive under new WFP appeal to avert famine in DPR Korea.

b) Of total USD 95.5 million requested in the appeal, some 40 percent received so far.

c) Confirmed contributions to WFP mean some 130,000 metric tons of food commodities will arrive in DPR Korea over the next two months. d) WWFP Executive Director warns that even if WFP's emergency operation is fully funded, large-scale and direct bilateral aid will be required to make up overall shortfall of 1.1 million tons.



1.1 On 8 May, a vessel chartered by the WFP began discharging the first shipment of emergency food aid under the new WFP appeal to avert famine in DPR Korea. The U.S. flagship Galveston Bay docked in Nampo with a cargo of 8,500 metric tons of maize and 4,992 metric tons of corn soya blend donated by the United States government. The shipment was the first to arrive at the port in response to a joint appeal by WFP and FAO on 2 April for USD 95.5 million in emergency assistance to provide DPR Korea with an additional 203,000 metric tons of food assistance for 4.7 million people this year. So far, WFP has received pledges totaling USD 37.5 million, or about 40 percent of the requested amount.

1.2 A second shipment consisting of 13,500 metric tons of rice and maize from the US government, 1,700 metric tons of corn soya blend bought using various donations and 90 metric tons of canned meat given by the Mennonite Central Committee, is scheduled to arrive at Nampo 19 May. Other shipments will include 28,775 metric tons of rice purchased by WFP with funds mostly from the European Union under a previous appeal launched in 1996 and about 9,500 metric tons of maize meal, also donated by the EU.

1.3 South Korea has provided funds for the purchase of 9,500 metric tons of corn-soya blend to be used for feeding infants and malnourished children. Contributions received from Australia, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, a Japanese NGO and Friends of WFP, a US-based support group, will be used to buy an estimated 10,000 metric tons of various commodities.

1.4 Arrangements are also under way for the United States to deliver another 50,000 metric tons of maize on two vessels scheduled to arrive in June.

1.5 Confirmed contributions will thus result in WFP shipments of well over 130,000 metric tons of food commodities, to arrive in DPR Korea during the next two months.

1.6 Most of the food will be used for feeding children aged six and under at nurseries and kindergartens. Patients in hospitals will also be assisted. Farmers and workers participating in food-for-work activities including restoration of flood-damaged agricultural land and repair of rural infrastructure will also receive WFP rations.

1.7 Ms. Catherine Bertini, the Executive Director of WFP, who visited DPR Korea in March, reported that the country urgently needs food aid to avert famine in the months before the next harvest in October/November. Renewing the appeal on 28 April, the Executive Director warned that even if WFP's emergency operation is fully funded, there will still be an overall shortfall of about 1.1 million tons, and that the only realistic way to make up the shortfall is through large-scale and direct government-to-government aid.

(End WFP Emergency Report No. 19 of 1997 - May 9, 1997)

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