UN food agencies alarmed at catastrophic impact of
drought and typhoon on Korea DPR's crops
FAO and the World Food Programme expressed "very
serious alarm" September 12 over food shortages in the
Democratic People's Republic of Korea, where drought and a
destructive typhoon will again seriously reduce food
production this year. The country's food outlook will be
considerably worse in 1998 than that following the previous
two years of disasters.
After two years of flooding, devastating drought
hit the country in mid June
Typhoon Winnie caused extensive damage to rice in
coastal areas in the west
In a report issued at a press briefing at FAO Headquarters,
staff from the two UN agencies presented the findings of a
two-week mission, during which they visited Korea DPR's main
agricultural areas. They reported that drought has
devastated crops throughout the country. In addition,
Typhoon Winnie caused extensive damage in late August to
rice in coastal areas in the west, where tidal waves
destroyed dykes, seawater invaded cropland and thousands of
people were left homeless.
With Korea DPR's agriculture, food supply and the health of
its population already suffering, the report warned that
ìthe potential consequences of this year's calamities
are likely to far exceed the devastation of the last two
Karin-Lis Svarre, Director of FAO's Information Division,
announced at the briefing that Director-General Jacques
Diouf was on his way to Korea DPR "to get a first-hand look
at the very serious situation".
The country will now have to depend to an even greater
extent on international assistance for food, agricultural
rehabilitation and vital inputs of seed and fertilizers.
"Without these interventions the human consequences are
likely to be dire," the report said.
16 September 1997