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The Humanitarian Crisis in the DPRK: Solutions Moving Forward
More than a year has passed since North Korea swiftly sealed its borders in response to the spread of COVID-19. The infliction of strict pandemic measures coupled with increased sanctions has made foreign trade levels drop to nearly zero and hampered international humanitarian aid efforts, making the country even more cut off from the international community. The fallout of the pandemic has exacerbated an already dire humanitarian situation in the country. Already prior to the pandemic, 40% of North Koreans were food insecure, and an estimated 10.4 million were in need of some form of humanitarian assistance. The roots of this prolonged humanitarian crisis lie in poor domestic economic and political decisions made by the regime, which often have favoured selected elites rather than the general population. Moving forward, as humanitarian aid actors likely will continue to work in the context of a constrained, isolated, and sanctioned DPRK, there is a need to discuss how aid actors can overcome these challenges to make sure that humanitarian assistance can be delivered effectively and reach the people most in need in the country.

In light of this situation, ISDP’s Korea Center is hosting a roundtable discussion intended to focus on solutions moving forward, concentrating on how humanitarian aid providers can work despite the current lockdown to effectively mitigate the ongoing humanitarian crisis. The speakers will tackle questions such as: What should be the main humanitarian assistance priorities in the DPRK moving forward? What can be done to bypass the current lockdown and restart effective humanitarian aid provision? How will the shrinking expatriate community in the country affect the monitoring of aid and how can it be made sure that aid continues to be delivered to the ones most in need in the future?

Apr 14, 2021 02:30 PM in Stockholm

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