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UN Seeks Donor Support for North Korea Aid

Annan To Seek Additional Donor Support To Ensure Continuation Of Aid For Dpr Of Korea

Following a report from his Personal Envoy, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has decided to seek additional donor support to ensure the continuation of humanitarian aid for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) for the next few months.

"The Secretary-General counts on donors to respond expeditiously to the urgent food and medical needs of the most vulnerable in North Korea," said a statement issued today in New York by a UN spokesman. "This would avert a major humanitarian crisis and would also create conditions more conducive to the peaceful resolution of the current political standoff."

The statement said the Secretary-General has requested his envoy, Maurice F. Strong, to deliver in person his emergency appeals to key donors. "He is also calling on other countries to help meet the immediate humanitarian needs of the DPRK," the statement added.

Last month, Mr. Strong held extensive discussions in Pyongyang with senior Government officials on humanitarian and other issues of mutual concern. He also met with the UN Country Team and representatives of non-governmental organizations, and made a field trip to several facilities, which have been receiving food and medical supplies from the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Afterwards, the Personal Envoy recommended exceptional action in light of the seriousness of the humanitarian situation facing the country. A review of the situation by the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Kenzo Oshima, and other senior humanitarian officials of the Organization, including the WFP Executive Director, James T. Morris, confirmed this assessment.

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