North Korea has made a lot of progress on the humanitarian front since 2012, although challenges remain regarding child malnutrition as well as the lack of safe water and medical supplies, a visiting United Nations official said here Wednesday.
Mark Lowcock, UN undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, told a press briefing that he held talks with North Korea officials and reviewed the impact of international humanitarian assistance as well as challenges facing the country.
He said North Korea has made a lot of progress, illustrated by the fact that the number of stunted children has dropped from 28 percent to 20 percent since 2012.
Lowcock said North Korea would receive a 110 million-U.S.-dollar assistance package through donations by UN member countries.
He pointed out that North Korea still faces a lot of challenges in child malnutrition, lack of safe water, and above all, medical supply shortages in hospitals and nurseries.
The UN official visited a hospital, a kindergarten and some farming areas in North Korea’s South Hwanghae Province.
Lowcock's visit was the first to North Korea by a UN undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator in seven years.