New Zealand Responds To Appeal For Food Aid For North Korea

  • Simon Upton
Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The government is to provide a further $250,000 in emergency aid to North Korea, the Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Upton, announced today.

``Reports indicate that the country is on the verge of famine,'' Mr Upton said, ``and UN relief agencies have issued an urgent appeal for extra funds to buy food for starving people, including 2.6 million children.''

Mr Upton said that the grant was a humanitarian response to a desperate situation and was not linked to any political considerations. ``We hope that by acting now we can alleviate the worst of the suffering,'' the Minister added.

The grant is to be made available from the Emergency and Disaster Relief allocation of New Zealand's Official Development Assistance and comes on top of a $200,000 contribution made in February. The contribution will be channelled through the UN's World Food Programme which is coordinating the provision of emergency food supplies to North Korea.