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UN: Food Supply Tenuous for Two-thirds of North Koreans PDF Print E-mail
Written by San Fernando Valley Sun   
Thursday, 14 June 2012 02:11

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Millions of North Korean children are not getting the food, medicine or health care they need to develop physically or mentally, leaving many stunted and malnourished, the United Nations said Tuesday.

Nearly a third of children under age 5 show signs of stunting, particularly in rural areas where food is scarce, and chronic diarrhea due to a lack of clean water, sanitation and electricity has become the leading cause of death among children, the agency said. Hospitals are spotless but bare; few have running water or power, and drugs and medicine are in short supply, the agency said in a detailed update on the humanitarian situation in North Korea.

"I've seen babies ... who should have been sitting up who were not sitting up, and can hardly hold a baby bottle," Jerome Sauvage, the U.N.'s Pyongyangbased resident coordinator for North Korea, said in Beijing before presenting the report to donors.

The report paints a horrific picture of deprivation in the countryside, not often seen by outsiders, who are usually not allowed to travel beyond the relatively prosperous Pyongyang, where cherubic children are hand-picked to attend government celebrations and a middle-class with a taste for good food have the means to eat out.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 14 June 2012 02:12