Start Asia Worst harvest in ten years

Worst harvest in ten years

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Food has been scarce in North Korea for a long time – but now, according to the UN, the situation has become more acute. 43 percent of North Koreans are under- and malnourished. There are mutliple reasons for this.

North Korea has reported the worst harvest in more than a decade, according to the United Nations. As a result, a large „food gap“ was created, quotes the news agency AFP the responsible UN coordinator Tapan Mishra.

According to the UN report, total crop output fell by 500,000 tonnes last year to 4.95 million tonnes. There has been a food shortage in North Korea for a long time. Now things are getting worse, according to UN information. At the same time, money is missing for aid deliveries. Last year, just under a quarter of the financial needs were covered.

Almost half of the population affected
By now, 10.9 million North Koreans are dependent on humanitarian aid – an increase of 600,000. Thus, a total of 43 percent of the population of the internationally isolated country would be undernourished and malnourished.

Experts cite the lack of arable land and inefficient cultivation as reasons for the poor harvest. The country is relatively hilly, only 20 percent of the area are considered to be usable for agriculture. In addition, there is a lack of modern technology and fertilizers. Critics also accuse the leadership in Pyongyang of having spent decades expanding the army at the expense of the population and pushing ahead with the nuclear weapons program.

There were also heat waves in North Korea last year. July and August saw heavy rains and floods due to a typhoon. In the process, part of the agricultural land was destroyed.

Food rationed heavily
Two weeks ago, Welthungerhilfe already described the food supply in North Korea as questionable. „The government has announced to reduce the daily ration to 300 grams,“ said a spokeswoman for the relief organization of the „Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung“. This is a halving of the daily ration of rice, wheat or potatoes.