MOSCOW, November 19 (Sputnik) — Seoul has contributed $7 million to the World Food Program (WFP) operation, which assists women and children affected by food shortages in North Korea, WFP said in a statement published on its website Wednesday.
"The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has received US$7 million from the government of the Republic of Korea [South Korea] for WFP's operations in support of the nutritional needs of women and children in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)," the statement said.
"WFP is delighted to see this renewed commitment from the Republic of Korea to support humanitarian needs in DPR Korea," Dierk Stegen, WFP Country Director in North Korea, stated Tuesday at the signing ceremony in Rome, as cited by WFP.
Stegen stressed that WFP work in North Korea "has been chronically underfunded."
In August, North Korea's WFP announced its funding crisis. Since then, a number of countries, including China, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Russia as well as South Korea, have contributed to WFP to maintain humanitarian assistance and operations in North Korea.
"With this new [South Korea's] contribution, and other donations received over the past months, WFP can now continue operations until the end of March 2015 – but more funds are still needed to continue after that date," Stegen noted at the Tuesday ceremony.
WFP is the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger and delivering food assistance worldwide. In 2012, WFP resumed a new two-year operation "Nutrition Support to Women and Children in North Korea" costing $200 million. The operation is aimed at supporting the nutritional needs of 2.4 million people at risk of food shortages in North Korea.