Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


NZ supports North Korean food programme

13 February 2004 – embargoed until 2pm Media Statement

New Zealand supports North Korean food programme

Prime Minister Helen Clark said today that New Zealand would contribute around $370,000 (US$250,000) to the United Nations World Food Programme’s operations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Helen Clark announced the new funding at a meeting with WFP Executive Director James Morris in Auckland.

A severe funding shortfall has forced the WFP to stop providing cereal rations to almost all of the 6.5 million North Koreans in its programme. This programme covers the most hungry and vulnerable segments of the country’s population. Only a few thousand children in orphanages and 75,000 pregnant and nursing women are expected to receive basic cereal rations for the next two months.

The funding crisis is also forcing WFP to drastically cut its food for work programme and threatens the closure of WFP assisted factories that provide enriched food for the malnourished.

Helen Clark said New Zealand could not stand by and do nothing as the humanitarian emergency in North Korea escalated.

“Millions of North Korea’s most hungry and vulnerable people – children, women and the elderly – are not receiving even minimum food supplies as a direct result of the forced cuts to WFP’s operations,” she said.

“It would be inhumane not to act now and have even more North Koreans suffer. As a caring and responsible member of the international community, we have a responsibility to act quickly.

“This announcement reinforces the importance New Zealand places on food security in the developing world.”

Helen Clark said New Zealand’s aid would be directed to two components of WFP’s programme. Some funds would go towards WFP-assisted factories that produce, store and distribute enriched foods for vulnerable groups, including infants, malnourished children, pregnant women and nursing mothers. The rest would support WFP’s Food for Work programme, which supports more than two million North Koreans each year.

The WFP is the United Nations frontline agency in the fight against global hunger, and has an annual budget of US$1.6 billion.

New Zealand has a longstanding relationship with the WFP. Contributions through NZAID, the government’s international aid and development agency, have totalled more than $6.6 million since 2000. More than $4 million of these funds were made in the last 18 months to support WFP operations in North Korea, Southern Africa, Eritrea, Ethiopia, the Congo, Indonesia, Timor Leste, Myanmar and Iraq.

New Zealand has provided more than $6.3 million to support multilateral and regional agency initiatives in North Korea since 1994, with $1.6 million going to support WFP’s work in that country.

Helen Clark said New Zealand continues to share deep international concerns about North Korea’s nuclear policies.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news