Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Appeal
Humanitarian Action for Children
UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children appeal helps support the agency’s work as it
provides conflict- and disaster-affected children with access to water, sanitation, nutrition,
education, health and protection services. Return to main appeal page.
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea snapshot
The humanitarian situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is characterized by chronic food insecurity and lack of access to life-saving basic services, with profound impacts on the most vulnerable. Despite a substantial drop in stunting from 28 per cent in 2012 to 19 per cent in 2017, provincial disparities persist; and 3 per cent of children under 5 years are suffering from acute malnutrition and mutually-reinforcing deprivations.
Approximately 39 per cent of the population (56 per cent in rural areas) lacks access to a safely managed drinking water source; and diarrhoea and pneumonia remain the two main causes of death among children under 5 years. Given the high ratio of child mortality among newborns and maternal deaths caused by sepsis and infections, appropriate equipment in health care facilities, especially in delivery wards, is critical to reducing the risk of postpartum and neonatal infections and minimizing hospital-acquired infections. Prolonged dry spells, flooding and limited agricultural inputs – which led to increased food insecurity in 2019 – will likely persist in 2020.
In September 2019, Tropical Cyclone Lingling inundated 46,000 hectares of farmland, affecting food supplies. Crop production is not expected to recover from the slump of the past two years. External assistance will therefore continue to play a vital role in safeguarding the well-being of children and families, whose food security, nutritional status, general health and sanitation needs would otherwise be compromised in the restricted operational environment compounded by stringent scrutiny.
Key planned results for 2020
95,000 children under 5 years suffering from wasting treated through inpatient and outpatient therapeutic feeding programmes
35,000 pregnant women in 50 priority counties accessing emergency obstetric and newborn care
183,000 people provided with access to safe drinking water with longer-term services
Funding requirements for 2020
As lead of the nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector working groups and co-lead of health with the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF remains at the forefront of humanitarian response in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. To sustain the delivery of life-saving interventions, UNICEF will continue to work with partners to apply its three-pronged strategic approach of:
- Providing basic supplies in line with global standards;
- Strengthening the timely and effective delivery of essential health, nutrition and WASH services, especially for children under 5 years and pregnant and lactating women; and
- Building local capacities to strengthen data collection and evidence generation.
UNICEF will also focus on integrated service delivery to facilitate equitable access to WASH interventions, reduce high mortality and morbidity rates, address undernutrition among women and children, particularly girls, and build community resilience through application of the first 1,000 days of life approach, which links nutrition, health and WASH interventions.
This revised appeal also reflects an increase in the geographical coverage of UNICEF health activities, including a scale up in emergency obstetric and newborn care support with consumables, equipment and tools to an additional 10 counties.
Find out more about UNICEF’s work
Humanitarian Action is at the core of UNICEF’s mandate to realize the rights of every child. This edition of Humanitarian Action for Children – UNICEF’s annual humanitarian fundraising appeal – describes the ongoing crises affecting children in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; the strategies that we are using to respond to these situations; and the donor support that is essential in this response.