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European Union funds to help children in North Korea
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Friday, 17 January 2003
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The European Commission has adopted a humanitarian aid decision worth 9.5 million euros to help meet the winter needs of pregnant and nursing women and children in North Korea. The aid is being channeled through ECHO, the Humanitarian Aid Office of the European Commission, which comes under the responsibility of Commissioner Poul Nielson. Commenting on the decision, Mr. Nielson said: "A significant proportion of North Koreas population of 23 million faces food shortages and the situation is likely to worsen during the winter. Children are particularly at risk with many already seriously malnourished. The aim of this funding is quite simply to save the lives of people in desperate straits, in keeping with basic humanitarian principles." This decision will finance the procurement and distribution of 39,000 tons of cereals for the most vulnerable, and especially children and mothers of newborn babies. The funding will be channeled through the World Food Program (WFP), which has distribution outlets at community level in the country. In other news, South Korea said Jan. 7 it would honor an agreement to send 400,000 tons of rice to North Korea this month as scheduled, despite the communist Norths suspected nuclear weapons program.
 
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