Mission East: ”Reprehensible that the money is not shared out”

The Danish government has decided to send 63 million DKK to the Horn of Africa. Mission East fears that this will affect the North Korean people whose great needs will be given low priority and consequently forgotten.

Terrible photos of malnourished people from the Horn of Africa fill the media these days, there is a great need for help. But the need is great in Asia, too, where two thirds of the world’s poor still live.

“The big attention on Africa threatens to push the Asian people with their needs into oblivion. In North Korea approximately six million people face a threatening famine and there is a tremendous need for help. However the Danish government has chosen to send 63 million DKK to the Horn of Africa and consequently there is no money left for other people in need. It is reprehensible that the money is not shared out,” says Managing Director of Mission East, Kim Hartzner, who recently returned from North Korea.

According to UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) six million people in North Korea face a threatening famine. The need is great and that is why Mission East during this summer sent 52.5 tons of food aid to North Korean children. However it is a drop in the ocean compared to the number of people in need. WFP estimates that the need for food aid in North Korea is worth 504 million USD.

“For many years most of the donor money has been given to African countries, but they do not make up the only part of the world where people die from famine and other catastrophes. The Danish people should expect to see a political will to share out the money and to balance the focus. The Danish government should look up and towards Asia. The North Korean people are in a desperate need of food aid,” says Kim Hartzner.

See photos and watch videos from the visit to North Korea here.