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Humanitarian Action for Children 2017 - Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

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Total people in need:18 million

Total children (<18) in need: 4.95 million

Total people to be reached in 2017: 4.3 million

Total children to be reached in 2017: 2.2 million

The humanitarian situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is characterized by chronic food insecurity and limited access to quality health and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services, which have resulted in chronic undernutrition and poor health outcomes. An estimated 18 million people are food insecure and 200,000 children are affected by acute malnutrition. Recurring natural disasters such as flooding and drought have exacerbated existing vulnerabilities. In August 2016, heavy rains from Typhoon Lionrock in North Hamgyong Province resulted in widespread flooding and the destruction of infrastructure, livestock and crops, affecting more than 600,000 people.

Children, pregnant women and lactating mothers are facing an increased risk of water-borne diseases – with a four-fold increase in diarrhoea – as well as communicable disease outbreaks. The number of children suffering from acute malnutrition in flood-affected areas who are in need of life-saving treatment every month has quadrupled from 500 to 2,000. It is expected that the current situation will persist through 2017. The Government has urgently requested the support of the international community to meet humanitarian needs.

Humanitarian strategy

To address limited access to quality health and WASH services in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, UNICEF is supporting service delivery through the provision of life-saving supplies for children and women. Using the 'first 1,000 days of life’ approach, UNICEF will integrate interventions in nutrition, health and WASH to improve child well-being.

Integrated services will contribute to reducing maternal and under-five mortality, promoting early childhood development, addressing undernutrition among women and girls, facilitating equitable access to WASH services and building community resilience. In 2017, health and nutrition programmes will reach 50 counties with life-saving interventions. UNICEF will also work to strengthen the availability and quality of child-related data, which will be critical to identifying and reaching most atrisk children. UNICEF will continue to coordinate the response in the nutrition and WASH sectors and co-lead the health sector

Results from 2016

As of October 31 2016, UNICEF had received US$6.8 million against the US$27.8 million appeal (25 per cent funded).7 UNICEF and partners reached 250,385 children under 1 year with Expanded Programme on Immunization vaccines and 255,049 pregnant women received two doses of the booster vaccine for tetanus. Children received multimicronutrient supplementation and mothers received information on good hygiene practices and access to safe water.
UNICEF and partners also contributed to the response to Typhoon Lionrock through the distribution of pre-positioned emergency relief stocks. Twenty temporary health clinics and 24 inter-agency emergency health kits were provided to support the restoration of primary health care services.
Water filters, water purification tablets, soaps and buckets were distributed to more than 91,000 people. About 6,000 malnourished children were treated in the sites for community management of acute malnutrition (CMAM) in the six affected counties. Multi-micronutrient supplements and vitamin A were also provided to 100,000 pregnant women and lactating mothers and children aged 6 to 23 months.