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Switzerland donates US$5 mln in humanitarian aid to N. Korea: OCHA

North Korea 10:19 May 22, 2019

SEOUL, May 22 (Yonhap) -- Switzerland has donated about US$5 million in humanitarian assistance for North Korea, making the European country one the largest donors to the impoverished state this year, data showed Wednesday.

According to the data by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which tracks incoming funding for aid agencies, Switzerland donated $4.98 million last month for the World Food Programme's projects in North Korea.

This brought Switzerland's donations for North Korea this year to $7.8 million, which accounts for 49.6 percent of the total funding secured by aid agencies.

Russia came next with $4 million, followed by Sweden and Canada with $2.44 million and $570,000, respectively, the data showed.

North Korea is reportedly facing severe food shortages apparently aggravated by global sanctions and unfavorable weather conditions.

The WFP and the Food and Agriculture Organization recently reported that North Korea's crop output last year hit the lowest level since 2008, adding that an estimated 10 million people, or about 40 percent of its population, are in urgent need of food.

Last week, South Korea announced a plan to donate $8 million to international agencies, including the WFP, to help address malnutrition and health problems facing pregnant women and kids in the North.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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