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Seoul to complete consultations with aid agencies this week on pledged N. Korea donation

27 May 2019 14:52 407
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Seoul to complete consultations with aid agencies this week on pledged N. Korea donation

SEOUL. KAZINFORM South Korea's unification ministry said Monday it will complete discussions with U.N. aid agencies this week about its pledge to donate US$8 million for their projects to help North Korean people in need, Yonhap reports.

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"We are planning to conclude consultations with the WFP and UNICEF within this week," Lee Sang-min, the ministry's spokesperson, told reporters during a regular press briefing, referring to the World Food Programme (WFP) and the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Lee added that necessary domestic procedures, including an official state approval of the promised donation, will also be launched as soon as the consultations are complete.

South Korea recently pledged to make the donation to the two U.N. agencies to support their projects to address malnutrition and health problems facing pregnant women and kids in the impoverished state.

South Korea announced a similar plan in late 2017, but its implementation was repeatedly delayed before the plan was scrapped amid nuclear and missile tensions.

Separately, Seoul is now devising plans to provide humanitarian food assistance to North Korea as millions of people there are reportedly facing aggravating food shortages caused by global sanctions and unfavorable weather conditions.

Earlier this month, the WFP and the Food and Agriculture Organization reported based on their visit to North Korea that the country's crop output last year hit the lowest level since 2008, adding that an estimated 10 million people, or about 40 percent of its population, are in urgent need of food.

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