News

USIS Washington 
File

21 September 1998

TEXT: U.S. CONTRIBUTES ADDITIONAL FOOD AID TO NORTH KOREA

(Responds to WFP with 300,000 metric tons of wheat)  (510)



Washington -- The United States has decided to further respond to the
January 1998 World Food Program appeal for food assistance for North
Korea by contributing an additional 300,000 metric tons of wheat.


According to a statement released by the State Department September
21, the U.S. assistance will be targeted at North Korean civilians who
are most vulnerable to the effects of malnutrition caused by the food
crisis, including children in nurseries, schools, and orphanages,
pregnant/nursing women, handicapped people, and hospital patients, as
well as the food-for-work programs to rehabilitate agricultural land
damaged by deforestation or natural disaster.


Following is the official text of the State Department statement:



(begin text)



U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE



Office of the Spokesman

(New York, New York)



September 21, 1998



STATEMENT BY JAMES P. RUBIN, SPOKESMAN

NORTH KOREA -- ADDITIONAL FOOD ASSISTANCE



The United States, reaffirming its commitment to provide humanitarian
assistance to those in need, has decided that it will further respond
to the January 1998 World Food Program appeal for food assistance to
the DPRK by contributing an additional 300,000 metric tons of wheat. A
portion of this assistance will be channeled through the WFP to the
U.S. Private Volunteer Organizations (PVO) Consortium. This wheat will
be provided as part of the President's July 18 wheat initiative using
the authority of 416(b) of the 1949 Agriculture Act.


Chronic food production shortfalls have resulted in widespread
malnutrition in the DPRK, and this year's harvest is again expected to
fall far short of production targets. WFP plans to conduct a detailed
harvest assessment in the DPRK in October.


In February, the U.S. announced a contribution of 200,000 metric tons
to the 603,000 metric-ton World Food Program appeal for North Korea.
The final shipment of that U.S. contribution is due to arrive this
month. The PVO Consortium is monitoring the distribution of 75,000
metric tons at food-for-work sites, while the remaining 125,000 tons
have been distributed by the WFP to the most vulnerable people,
especially children. In discussing additional food assistance with the
DPRK, the U.S. government stressed that adequate monitoring of such
assistance is a requirement.


So far, the international community, including the U.S., has
contributed a total of 300,000 tons of food to the WFP appeal. We
currently plan for the new U.S. contribution to be made in three
tranches of approximately 100,000 metric tons each through the
remainder of this year.


U.S. assistance will be targeted at North Korean civilians who are
most vulnerable to the effects of malnutrition caused by the food
crisis, including children in nurseries, schools, and orphanages,
pregnant/nursing women, handicapped people, and hospital patients, as
well as the food-for-work programs to rehabilitate agricultural land
damaged by deforestation or natural disaster.


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