SEOUL, March 17 (Yonhap) -- The U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) has said it needs about US$840,000 to help North Korea cope with the new coronavirus, though the communist nation has not reported any outbreak of the virus yet.
In a novel coronavirus situation report, the agency said it has launched the global "Humanitarian Appeal for Children (HAC) seeking funding of $42.3 million, including $27.02 million for East Asia and Pacific regional response.
Of the East Asia and Pacific budget, $840,312 was allocated to North Korea, according to the report released Friday. Of the funding requirement for the North, only $300,000, or 36 percent has been funded, the report said.
The report said the funding will be used to help the region tackle the COVID-19 virus situation, such as sending critical medical supplies, but it did not note any response plans specific to North Korea.
North Korea has not reported any case of COVID-19 virus infection, but it has called for nationwide efforts to prevent the virus from breaking out on its soil through intensified border controls and a tightened quarantine process.
Concerns are lingering that North Korea could be more vulnerable as it shares a long and porous border with China, and lacks key medical supplies and the infrastructure to test and treat infected people.
Landslide victory likely to strengthen Moon's foreign policy hand
Nuclear talks in limbo one year after no-deal Hanoi summit
Moon hopes for spring summit with Trump, feasibility still a question
Trump's change in N.K. diplomacy team, reelection focus muddy prospects of U.S. engagement
(News Focus) Seoul's push for individual tours to North meaningful but many hurdles ahead: experts