Improving the lives of rural North Koreans
Mission East opened a country office in Pyongyang in the summer of 2019, making it the first resident Danish NGO in DPRK. Although Mission East has been operating in DPRK since 2011, the new office means that Mission East can be more engaged in ongoing projects and react faster to the needs of the populations we support with future initiatives.
Two out of every five people in North Korea are undernourished and one in five do not have access to clean water and sanitation. Mission East helps the rural population improve food security as well as water and sanitation facilities.
For the past couple of decades, the population of North Korea has struggled with the consequences of an economic downturn and frequent natural disasters. Chronic food shortages – and at times full-scale famines – have meant that the country has periodically asked for external humanitarian assistance.
Mission East has worked in North Korea since 2011 – as one of the few international organisations. In the beginning, the focus of our work was on food distributions. Mission East has, at various points, provided food assistance to tens of thousands of young North Korean children through kindergartens, nurseries, orphanages and pediatric hospitals, filling in essential nutrients to balance their diet at this critical stage of physical and psychological growth. Three orphanages in the country’s southern Hwanghae province received regular support for several years, including protein supplements, clothing, stimulating toys and stationery.
In recent years, the projects in North Korea have had more long-term aims, such as improving food security and water supply for the rural population. For instance, in one village, Mission East has helped the inhabitants replant trees on degraded mountain slopes. Thanks to the reforestation project and promotion of responsible farming for sloping lands, the number of landslides have decreased and the quality of soil in fields is protected, resulting in higher crop yields. In the same village, 400 families gained access to running water in their homes, and their children received hygiene awareness training in school.
Over the years, Mission East has also assisted North Korean villages that have been struck by natural disasters, especially floods, by rebuilding houses and restoring access to clean drinking water.
Help North Korea's families cope with food shortages, illness, floods and droughts!