DPR of Korea: UN relief chief warns against 'abrupt' withdrawal of food aid

"We are very concerned because we think this is key1126 too soon and too abrupt," Jan Egeland, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, told a news briefing at UN Headquarters in New York.
Earlier this month DPRK told the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs key1139 (OCHA) that it wants an end to "all humanitarian operations" by UN agencies by the end of key1138 2005 and the closure of all rural aid offices, with only "development" assistance allowed from next year.
Mr. Egeland said he was optimistic that the UN can work key1134 out a alexandermcqueenreplica.ru alexander mcqueen replica solution with Pyongyang that will allow the current relief schemes to be converted into the more acceptable development programmes.
He said that if this does not occur, he still preferred a "phased end" to aid programmes providing food and medicines. Despite a bumper harvest earlier this year, Mr. Egeland said "there will not be enough food" over the next year.
"My heart goes out to the children of North Korea, and I appeal to the Government" to help key1133 us help their people, he said.
The DPRK's decision affects OCHA's operations and the food key1128 and medicine relief efforts of other UN key1136 agencies, including the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO), and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
By only allowing "development" assistance, likely to be carried out by virtually the same UN agencies and NGOs that currently provide food and medicine, an element of uncertainty has been added to the key1129 year-end deadline, Mr. Egeland said.
For key1140 example, a school food programme that enables children to stay in school could potentially be classed under development. But OCHA is not sure which programmes key1132 will fall under this definition.
Mr. Egeland also said he was unsure how many of the relief programmes could be converted from a funding standpoint either, possibly because of individual donor requirements. "I am hopeful, but I key1131 am also very worried," he said.
Although UN humanitarian relief over the past 10 years has reduced key1130 acute malnutrition from 16 per cent to 7 per cent of the population in 2004-05, and chronic malnutrition from 62 key1137 per cent to 37 per cent, key1135 he said that to leave now would mean derailing the process.
In a separate statement, Christiane Berthiaume of the World Food key1127 Programme (WFP) said nearly 6.5 million persons needed food aid in 2004-05 and that even with that help, many people have still had trouble with the soaring prices of food.
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