Raquel Benson is a Senior Contributor to TDA, a journalism student, humanist, and artist with issues of chronic imagination. She may be brash, but it stems from a deeper concern for the world around her.
Unicef Goes North
Human Rights – The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is facing some of its most heart-breaking disasters as the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) was called to assist millions of citizens suffering the risk of malnourishment. The victims are predominantly women and small children.
UNICEF is no stranger to the DPRK as it has been helping the state for over 25 years. The new threat is now so serious that the agency requested over 20 million dollars for emergency response to the DPRK, but so far has barely received 4.6 million. Similar issues have been frequent with other UNICEF-like agencies.
Bijaya Rajbhandari, UNICEF Representative in the DPRK, spoke of the devastating realities of the lack of funding for these starving citizens. The money provided by these foundations goes directly to support local nutrition programs—programs that treat malnourished children. Rajbhandari stated, “We must continue to address the poor public nutrition situation in DPRK in combination with adequate health, water, sanitation and hygiene interventions which are also underlying factors to the malnutrition situation in DPRK.”
The lack of funding will first take its toll on maternal under-nutrition—twenty-five percent of women living in the DPRK (ages 15-49) are under-nourished. Not only do these numbers report the obvious threat to women, but they also indicate the greater risk of delivering infants with low birth rate (a serious issue that is linked with a number of diseases and terminal illnesses).
UN Humanitarian chief Valerie Amos is making a priority to raise awareness about the troubles in the DPRK during her recent visit, urging for the support of the (roughly) six million people suffering from under-nourishment. A country that she calls “highly food insecure” still awaits further aide.
Read more at the United Nations News Center.