ASIA/NORTH KOREA - Drought threatens the lives of many children

Friday, 10 July 2015

Pyongyang (Agenzia Fides) - North Korean children are suffering the consequences of the drought that is affecting some areas of the Country and many others could be in serious danger of malnutrition and disease. Concern about the impact of the drought is heightened by the existing poor nutritional status of many children in North Korea. The figures released by humanitarian agencies and the Government show that the three provinces of North Hwanghae, South Hamgyong and South Hwanghae are the most severely affected by declining rainfall. During the first half of 2015, cases of diarrhea increased by 71% in North Hwanghae, 34% in South Hamgyong and 140% in South Hwanghae. The lack of rainfall limits access to safe drinking water, putting at risk the lives of children. The incidence of diarrhea, a major cause of death among children worldwide, has seriously increased in the first months of 2015 in the affected provinces. According to a study carried out in 2012, in a quarter of North Korean children symptoms of chronic malnutrition were recorded. Many of the provinces affected by the drought are a primary source of staple food crops in North Korea. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 10/07/2015)