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IFRC allocates $1.2 mln to help N. Korea fight against COVID-19

North Korea 09:53 December 21, 2021

SEOUL, Dec. 21 (Yonhap) -- The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has allocated 1.1 million Swiss francs (US$1.2 million) to help North Korea combat the COVID-19 pandemic from January last year to June next year, its interim financial report showed.

According to the COVID-19 Outbreak 20-Month Update, the organization had spent around 699,000 Swiss francs as of September, with the largest portion of 296,000 Swiss francs spent on health-related operations.

Another 157,000 Swiss francs was spent for the group's efforts to "influence others as leading strategic partners," while 91,000 Swiss francs, 68,000 Swiss francs and 61,500 Swiss francs was spent on disaster risk reduction, shelter, and water, sanitation and hygiene, respectively.

"The DPRK government has taken consistent pre-emptive and offensive measures since the outbreak of COVID-19, continuing to raise awareness of all people with campaign against the rapid spread of highly infectious new COVID-19 variants," the report said. DPRK stands for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

North Korea has imposed strict border controls since the outbreak of the pandemic, and claims to be coronavirus-free.

According to the World Health Organization's latest weekly report, North Korea said 739 people, including 151 with influenza-like illness or severe acute respiratory infections, underwent COVID-19 tests between Dec. 2-9, but all were found negative for the virus.

This undated image, captured from North Korea's state TV on Dec. 1, 2021, shows its quarantine workers. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution)(Yonhap)


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