UN, new guidelines to facilitate humanitarian aid in North Korea
Fast-tracking of exemption requests from punitive measures against Pyongyang. Seoul will be in the front row to help the neighbor. The decision arrives a few days after a controversial report which claims the socialist country has not halted its nuclear program.
New York (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The UN Security Council has adopted new guidelines to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid to North Korea.
The UN body yesterday unaninously approved the project proposed by the United States. Last month, some international aid groups had complained about the bureaucratic difficulties caused by sanctions.
Under the new guidelines, the process will be speeded up to request the exemptions necessary to bring aid to North Korea. The project approved yesterday recommended governments and NGOs to send their requests including a description of the objects to be imported and the assurance that their use is limited to that intended in the application.
According to South Korean government sources, South Korea will be at the forefront in supporting the neighboring North Korean population. Last year Seoul allocated $ 8 million in aid, including food and vaccines to be sent through the World Food Program and UNICEF.
According to UN estimates, almost half of the North Korean population - about 10 million people - needs food aid. Furthermore, there is a serious lack of medical supplies in the country.
The decision of the UN body follows days of media controversy: according to a report to the Security Council, written by experts and published by some media, North Korea is still carrying out its own nuclear weapons program.