Aid slowed and hindered by sanctions. Banks and companies are afraid of being accused of violating the embargo.
Geneva (AsiaNews / Agencies) - At least 60,000 North Korean children are likely to suffer from severe malnutrition "that can lead to death". The alarm was launched by UNICEF, the UN agency for children, underlining that international sanctions on North Korea exacerbate the humanitarian situation by slowing down the delivery of aid.
Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, Omar Abdi, reports that humanitarian aid is exempt from the embargo, "but what happens is that banks and companies that supply or ship goods are very careful. They do not want to run any risk of being considered guilty of violating sanctions. " As a result, transporting materials and aid becomes increasingly difficult and time is stretched, especially when it comes to bringing money into the country. Moreover, due to the punitive measures, the price of petrol rose by 160%.
Director of UNICEF emergency programs, Manuel Fontaine, says that it is a "malnutrition that can lead to death. There is talk of protein and calorie deficiency ... The trend is worrying, it is not improving in any way ".
UNICEF is one of the few international bodies to have access to the isolated country, where a serious famine has killed about 3 million people since the mid-1990s. Even the Eugene Bell Foundation, a foundation in support of around 1,000 tuberculosis patients in the country, recently launched an appeal for the humanitarian situation in the country