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FAO/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea

FAO/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Dec 2008

FAO and WFP conducted a Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission (CFSAM) in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) from 9 through 24 October 2008. This was the first such exercise since 2004; in late 2005 the DPRK Government had decided to sharply curtail humanitarian assistance after a short series of good agricultural years. Until 2008, food aid operations by WFP and other actors had thus reduced considerably, and further CFSAMs were not deemed necessary by the DPRK Government.

The relative improvement in the food balance, however, proved short-lived, especially since the country suffered severe flooding in 2007. As of early 2008, the terms of a new agreement between the DPRK Government and various parties included up to half a million tonnes of food aid from the United States, a Rapid Food Security Assessment (RFSA) to be conducted in June 2008 and a CFSAM scheduled for October.

The June and October surveys, when taken together, constitute a fundamental part of the CFSAM, as complemented by review of existing documents, including government data, observations during travel time and cooperative visits, interviews with knowledgeable sources in Pyongyang, as well as earth observation sources (satellite imagery, satellite data-derived rainfall estimates, and normalized difference vegetation index, NDVI).