SEOUL, May 21 (Yonhap) -- The U.N. Security Council has granted a sanctions exemption to allow the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) to carry out aid programs in North Korea to improve the health and nutrition of people in the impoverished country, according to the U.N. website.
The exemption, granted on April 11, paves the way for UNICEF to import items to deliver safe water supplies to communities and enable effective treatment at hospitals, especially for malnourished children and mothers.
The approved items worth some US$5.75 million in total include emergency health kits, wheelchairs and electronic devices, a document on the website showed.
The most expensive set of materials was vaccine cold chain equipment from Denmark worth $3.87 million. UNICEF said the items will be used to store vaccines for around 355,000 children under 1 year of age and 362,000 pregnant women.
UNICEF said its staff will conduct regular monitoring to ensure the goods are used for their intended purposes.
Including the latest approval, the total number of humanitarian exemptions related to North Korea currently in effect stands at 22. The exemptions are valid for six months.
Humanitarian activities are not banned under international sanctions, but related materials are subject to sanctions waivers from the U.N.
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