Red Cross seeks $15.5m to help flood-hit North Korea

According to the UN, 140,000 people need assistance after torrential rain triggered major floods

SEOUL // The Red Cross appealed for $15.5 million in emergency funding to help flood-ravaged North Koreans on Wednesday, warning of a “secondary disaster” in the impoverished country unless urgent assistance is provided.

According to the UN, 140,000 people need assistance after torrential rain triggered major floods, devastating villages in the country’s north-east. At least 138 people are known to have died and nearly 400 are missing, the UN said last week.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said that about 70,000 remain homeless after tens of thousands of houses were damaged or destroyed.

“People were vulnerable before this disaster but now they are in danger of reaching tipping point,” said Chris Staines, head of the IFRC delegation in Pyongyang.

“Winter is on our doorstep and when you add up the impact of the floods and the risks people now face, we could see a secondary disaster here in the months ahead”, Mr Staines said after visiting affected areas.

With winter temperatures threatening to plunge to minus 30°C, the US$15.5 million (Dh57m) fund will be used to deliver crucial relief supplies including tents, medicines and coal to 7,000 families.

* Agence France-Presse

Published: September 21, 2016 04:00 AM

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