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UN World Food Program extends assistance plan for N. Korea by one year

Dec. 2, 2023 - 10:54 By Yonhap
This image on Monday, shows the North's leader Kim Jong-un casting his ballot at a polling station in South Hamgyong Province the previous day to take part in local elections to pick new deputies for local assemblies of provinces, cities and counties. This image is not directly related to the story. (Yonhap)

The U.N. World Food Program has extended its food assistance plan for North Korea by another year to the end of 2024, according to an updated document on its website Saturday.

The revision extends the one-year duration of the interim country strategic plan for North Korea until Dec. 31, 2024, the document showed.

The amount of budget for the project has also increased to US$247.7 million from $214.9 million.

The revised assistance plan is expected to benefit some 5.2 million North Korean people, rising from 4.4 million under the existing plan.

The agency said the revision will allow the WFP to resume operations once international staff return to the North to assess the country's food security and carry out the assistance program.

North Korea closed its borders in early 2020 to prevent the spread of COVID-19, making humanitarian agencies like the WFP unable to conduct field monitoring in or deliver assistance to the reclusive regime.

The last WFP and U.N. personnel left the country in March 2021, and there has been no WFP or U.N. presence in North Korea since, according to the WFP document. (Yonhap)