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S. Korea to send 50,000 tons of rice aid to Mideast, Africa

All News 14:14 May 26, 2020

SEJONG, May 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will provide 50,000 tons of rice to four nations in the Middle East and Africa as part of its overseas food aid program, the agriculture ministry said Tuesday.

Seoul plans to deliver 19,000 tons of rice to Yemen, 16,000 tons to Ethiopia, 10,000 tons to Kenya and 5,000 tons to Uganda through the World Food Program (WFP), according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

It marks South Korea's third round of rice aid to the famine-stricken countries. Seoul sent 100,000 tons of rice to them in 2018 and 2019.

This undated photo, provided by the World Food Program (WFP), shows a Yemeni child holding rice sent from South Korea. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

A ship carrying 15,000 tons of rice departed from the southeastern port of Ulsan on Tuesday. The first shipment of 16,000 tons left Mokpo on the southwest coast on May 16, and a freighter carrying a second batch of 19,000 tons departed from the western port of Gunsan a week ago.

The ministry said the rice to be sent was all harvested in 2018 and that the U.N. food agency will be in charge of maritime transportation and local distribution. Seoul and the WFP will jointly take charge of post-aid monitoring.

South Korea kicked off the rice aid program following its 2018 accession to the Food Assistance Convention, which aims to promote global food security and provide humanitarian food assistance to developing countries.

Seoul's overseas food aid program will likely help ease its chronic glut of rice stemming from falling consumption among Koreans, the ministry said, adding the country's rice stockpile stands at a stable level of 1.75 million tons as of end-April this year.

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