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U.N. designates N. Korea as one of 12 forgotten crises countries needing help

All Headlines 10:56 February 10, 2017

SEOUL, Feb. 10 (Yonhap) -- The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) designated North Korea as one of 12 regions on its forgotten crises to remember list, calling for global humanitarian assistance, the office's website showed Friday.

"Today more than 128 million people in 33 countries need humanitarian aid to survive, a figure not seen since the second world war," the OCHA said, announcing the list in a posting earlier this week.

In addition to North Korea, Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and the Sahel were among the group of 12 nations.

"About 60 percent of the population in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is considered to be food insecure -- in other words, 15 million out of 24.9 million people," the OCHA said. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is North Korea's official name.

"One quarter of the population does not have access to essential health services, and 1.7 million children are at risk of deadly childhood diseases," according to the U.N. office.

The report said the listed countries had less than 40 percent of their annual humanitarian funding needs fulfilled last year.

"With this staggering level of need, now more than ever, world leaders need to step up their support to the world's most vulnerable people," the U.N.'s Humanitarian Chief Stephen O'Brien said in the report. "Those who are already giving need to continue their support, while new actors must also seize the opportunity to save lives."

pbr@yna.co.kr
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