This report covers the period 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2012
Overview The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the largest humanitarian organization operating in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) since 1995. The IFRC works in five out of nine provinces and has the most extensive access of any organization to the country, especially when compared to other international organizations, as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The IFRC usually works with an average annual budget of CHF 9-10 million.
The IFRC team in the DPRK consists of six international (three permanent and three technical) staff and 12 national staff, and has four programmes: 1) health and care; 2) water and sanitation; 3) disaster management; and 4) organizational development. The IFRC office further consists of a logistics and finance/administration department, a fleet of six vehicles, four drivers, and one fleet manager. Since the start of its operations in 1995, IFRC has supported the DPRK Red Cross (DPRK RC) in the provision of essential drugs to 8.25 million people through 2,030 clinics nationwide, which is approximately one third of the population. As drug distribution is not a traditional Red Cross (RC) activity, discussions are underway with the DPRK Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) to transfer this responsibility back to the government, while the Red Cross is looking into alternative ways to support the health sector.
Through a network of 2,500 first aid posts, the RC is working with the most vulnerable members (elderly, small children, lactating women, one adult households, and disabled) of the population to improve their health status through first aid, health and hygiene promotion.
Disaster risk reduction measures have been effective in reducing the impact of flooding in many areas where they have been put in place. Dramatic levels of deforestation are gradually making the country more vulnerable to the detrimental effects of adverse weather events. The RC is looking into short-term flood mitigation measures, as well as longer term, through its extensive community-based tree-planting programme. During the latest floods from July to September 2012, the DPRK RC played a key role in providing emergency relief to the affected population, including clean drinking water.
At the same time, the National Society aims to support livelihood improvement among vulnerable communities, mainly focusing on the generation of alternative sources of income. The supported communities remain active in disaster preparedness, and use the additional income for the construction of flood-mitigating interventions.
Over a span of 10 years, the RC has helped supply over 600,000 people with clean drinking water and proper sanitation facilities at household level through its water and sanitation programme.