Food crisis continues in Korea DPR, according to recent mission

FAO in Korea DPR

Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS): 

The food crisis in Korea DPR is not over, according to Abdur Rashid, Chief of FAO's Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS), who headed a UN mission that spent 11 days inspecting crops and the food situation in the Asian nation.

Most maize and rice planting has finished in Korea DPR and the crops appear satisfactory, but the prospects of a good harvest to ease the tight food situation in the country depend on how much rain falls in the coming months.

"This is a very critical period," said Rashid at a press conference held in Beijing on 14 June, the day after the joint FAO/World Food Programme (WFP) mission left Korea DPR. In 1997, a severe drought aggravated the country's already precarious food supply situation - the result of economic difficulties and three years of natural calamities.

Even with good rains and a satisfactory harvest, production would still fall short of the amount needed to feed the population. According to UN estimates, some 2 million tonnes of food is needed to cover minimum food requirements. A full report on the mission's findings is expected by end June.

18 June 1998

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