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U.N. Appeals For Humanitarian Aid To Assist North Korea With Food, Health Care, Sanitation

“U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon … on Thursday [welcomed an appeal] for funding to urgently provide food, health care and sanitation to millions of North Koreans, stressing that donors should not be deterred by the reclusive state’s nuclear ambitions,” Reuters reports (Nichols, 8/15). The U.N. “said $98 million is urgently needed to address critical humanitarian needs in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), where some 2.4 million people need regular food assistance,” the U.N. News Centre notes, adding, “The funds would be used for food and agricultural support, health and nutrition services, and water and sanitation interventions for the remainder of the year, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a news release.” Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement, “The lives of many people are at stake, including children who are vulnerable to lasting suffering if they do not receive aid,” according to the news service. U.N. Resident Coordinator Ghulam Isaczai said, “External assistance continues to play a vital role in safeguarding the lives of millions whose food security, nutritional status and essential health needs would otherwise be seriously compromised. … Separating humanitarian needs from political issues is a prerequisite for a sustainable improvement in the condition of people,” the news service notes (8/15).