North Korea has suffered severe flooding throughout July this year. On 11th July central areas of the country saw as much as 20cm of rainfall.
By 25th July 33 people had been killed, nearly 50,000 had been made homeless and 10,000 hectares of farmland flooded. At that time at least 1,000 hectares of crops had been destroyed.
As the floods in 2012 in North Korea showed, the country’s farming sector is unable to cope with flooding. Flooding and severe weather conditions in North Korea always bring with them the added threat of crop failure and food scarcities, since the country’s agricultural technology and infrastructure is unable to cope with added stresses. The recent floods are no different and they are expected to have a longer term impact on food security. As well as crops failing, especially the early crops including potatoes, there is also a concern about the disruption of public access to safe water.
The experience of 2012 floods, where North Korea had to appeal to the international community for aid, has prompted the United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP) to provide food aid for the victims for the recent floods. Today the WFP announced it will be distributing 460 tonnes of maize in North Korea to address the immediate food needs of around 38,000 people living in areas of serious crop devastation. The food aid means that each person will recive 400 grammes of maize every day for one month.