중앙데일리

Food aid provided for North’s children

Jan 19,2004
North Korean children received a surprise gift from South Koreans for the approaching Lunar New Year holidays. The JoongAng Ilbo and a South Korean civic group, the Korean Foundation for World Aid, provided grain to the North last week, with monitoring of the food aid distribution to begin next month.
The South Koreans met with officials of the North’s Committee for the Promotion of Economic Cooperation in Shenyang, China on Friday and provided 360 tons of rice and 120 tons of beans. The food, purchased in China, is worth 200 million won ($166,000) in the local market, or 800 million won if it were bought on the Korean market.
The JoongAng Ilbo and the Korean Foundation purchased the grain with money raised last year from a charity jointly set up to support North Korean children. The North initially requested 120 tons of beans, and the charity decided to send rice as well.
According to the Jan. 9 report of the UN-run World Food Program, the cereal ration for some 2.7 million beneficiaries, including nursery and primary school children, has been stopped in North Korea because of a shortage of donations. The agency said new pledges of about 176,000 tons of food are needed for the coming six months, in addition to the recently announced contributions of 70,000 tons. It estimated that about 13.2 million people in the North are malnourished.
“Starting early next month, foundation officials will visit North Korea to monitor the food distribution,” said Kim Hyoung-suk, the foundation’s secretary-general. The grain aid will be provided to a food processing plant in Pyeongyang and the North Korea Childcare Association. Through the charity movement last year, 755 million won in cash and goods worth 4.37 billion won were raised. The charity provided winter clothes, wheat flour, eggs and antituberculosis drugs to the North Koreans last year in 16 shipments.


by Lee Dong-hyun


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