World Vision recently flew two shipments of medicines — valued at more than $8.1 million — to assist North Korea flood survivors, many of them children suffering from waterborne illnesses.
An informal market stall on a side street near North Korea's capital city, Pyongyang. Severe flooding in the country, particularly around the capital, has caused what has been described as North Korea's 'worst humanitarian crisis in a decade.' © 2007 Randall Spadoni/World Vision
World Vision continues to step up its relief response to North Korea's flood devastation — the country's "worst humanitarian crisis in a decade
On Aug. 30, the first of two shipments of essential medical supplies and medicines were flown into Pyongyang, the country's capital. Severe flooding, which hit the country in August, affected nine provinces in North Korea.
Children Suffer From Waterborne Illnesses
Hundreds of thousands of families and communities are reportedly without food and water; many have lost their homes and livelihoods and are now living in temporary shelters in North Korea, whose formal name is the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). In addition to the initial damage and injuries sustained, the floods have polluted clean water supplies, contributing to waterborne illnesses, particularly among children.
In response to the dire need, World Vision's first air shipment, chartered by Samaritan's Purse
, departed from North Carolina in the early hours of Aug. 30. It contained about $8.3 million in relief goods from several charities and nongovernmental organizations, including donated medicines and vaccines valued at $2.7 million. In partnership with MAP International
, the following items were among those airlifted:
- Re-hydration solutions
- Multiple vitamins
- Anti-diarrhea and anti-inflammatory medicines
A second shipment of relief supplies is leaving from Singapore with $190,000 of essential medicines collected by World Vision's international humanitarian emergency team. The shipment contains a variety of bulk supplies, including anesthetics, painkillers, and eye care treatments.
Upon arrival in the DPRK, the goods will be transferred to Korea-America Private Exchange Society, one of World Vision's local aid counterparts in that country. Both deliveries will provide much-needed medical assistance to people affected by the floods.
Relief Team Conducts Assessments
A small World Vision relief team entered North Korea on Sept. 8, and for five days reviewed distribution methods and assessed relief programs in place. The team visited World Vision relief programs and existing projects in South Pyongyang province, North Hwanghae province, and those in and around the city of Pyongyang.
Richard Rumsey, World Vision's regional humanitarian emergency affairs director, says the visit was well timed.
"We are pleased that we were able to monitor the distribution of many of the medical supplies we arranged to send," he says. "We were located among the people and provinces worst affected, giving us a unique opportunity to plan for relief to meet their needs."
World Vision's Work in North Korea
A previous World Vision shipment from our office in South Korea — 2,000 family relief packs containing flour, canned food, medicines, soap, towels, portable gas burners for cooking, clothing, and waterproof mats — arrived in the DPRK on Aug. 21. Our local partner, Korea National Economic Cooperation Agency, is handling the distribution of these goods in North Hwanghae province.
World Vision continues to implement 10 humanitarian development projects in North Korea, including the support of factories that produce enriched noodles and soybean milk for children in kindergarten through primary grades. We support agricultural programs to help reduce food shortages. Our office in South Korea also has worked in the agricultural sector for the past seven years, in coordination with the Korea Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
>> Read about
North Korea's "worst humanitarian crisis in the past decade" and the urgent response by our office in South Korea.
Three Ways You Can Help
>> Pray for those affected by the severe flooding in North Korea, especially for children, who are particularly vulnerable during such disasters and are currently suffering from waterborne illnesses. Pray that World Vision's coordinated relief efforts will quickly reach the suffering people who need them the most.
>> Donate now to World Vision's Disaster Response Fund. Your one-time contribution enables us to respond quickly to disasters around the world, including the current severe flooding in North Korea.
>> Become an Emergency Response Partner. When disaster strikes, such as the recent flooding in North Korea, your monthly gift will help World Vision continue to quickly respond with aid for children and families who need it most.