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Donations to N. Korea drop sharply amid pandemic: U.N. data

North Korea 09:15 February 03, 2021

SEOUL, Feb. 3 (Yonhap) -- Only about US$1.3 million has been pledged as humanitarian assistance to North Korea so far this year, an over 80 percent plunge from the same period last year amid the coronavirus pandemic, U.N. data showed Wednesday.

According to the data from the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Switzerland has promised to donate $1.21 million in humanitarian aid to the North since the start of this year.

Of the total, $1.16 million has been assigned to help provide nutrition to North Korean children through the U.N. Children's Fund, the data showed.

Germany has also vowed to donate $115,494 in food assistance to the North through Welthungerhilfe, a German nonprofit aid organization.

The combined amount represents an 82.9 percent fall from last year.

The decline came as North Korea has maintained tightened border controls to ward off an outbreak of the coronavirus and the global economy is slowing down, weakening financial capacities of potential donors.

South Korea donated $5.73 million in aid to the North through such aid groups as the World Health Organization in January last year. But Seoul has not vowed any donations so far this year.


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