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DPR Korea: Drought - Jun 2015

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A prolonged dry spell from April to early June 2015 in the main growing areas of DPR Korea affected the plantings and yield potential of food crops for the rest of the year. (FAO, 17 Jun 2015) About US$6.3 million was allocated from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to respond to urgent needs. This funding has enabled UN agencies to rapidly scale up response operations and provide 1.3 million people, including 790,000 women and children, with life-saving assistance in four of the most affected provinces of South Hwanghae, North Hwanghae, South Pyongan and South Hamgyong. (OCHA, 13 Aug 2015)

On 29 January 2016, UN Secretary-General released US$ 8 million from CERF for severely underfunded aid operations in DPR Korea. These funds will enable life-saving assistance for more than 2.2 million people most vulnerable and at risk of malnutrition. In DPR Korea, chronic malnutrition (stunting) among under-five children is at 27.9 per cent, while 4 per cent of under-five children are acutely malnourished (wasting). Around 70 per cent of the population, or 18 million people, are considered food insecure. (OCHA, 2 Feb 2016)

The 2015 main season food crop production is estimated at 4.78 million tonnes, 11 percent below 2014’s output. The decrease is mostly attributed to a 26 percent drop in paddy production, estimated at 1.95 million tonnes, due to lingering precipitation deficits and low water availabilities for irrigation...The monthly average rations since July 2015 were below those distributed during the same period in 2014 and the average level between 2011/12 and 2013/14. PDS rations, set at 370 grams/ person/day between January and March 2016, were reduced to 360 grams/person/day since April. This is the lowest rate since 2010/11, and well below the Government’s target of 573 grams/person/day, mainly due to an overall shortage of food in the country. (FAO, 16 Jun 2016)

Harvesting of the 2016 main season crops is ongoing and will continue until mid‑October. Generally favourable weather conditions during the season benefitted crops, although excessive precipitation in late August in northeastern parts of the country triggered localized flooding, causing loss of lives, as well as severe damage to housing, infrastructure, and the agriculture sector. (FAO, 19 Sep 2016)