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More food aid for North Korea

Wednesday 30 July 2008, 12:56AM

By Rt Hon Winston Peters

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New Zealand will contribute an additional $500,000 towards United Nations efforts to address food shortages in North Korea, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.

“North Korea is facing the most severe food shortages since the famine years of the 1990s. There are fears that large numbers of families are being pushed further into hunger and famine and it is important New Zealand does what it can to assist," said Mr Peters.

“Food prices have tripled in the past year due to the destruction of a significant proportion of the country’s crops in the August 2007 floods and high global food prices.

“The World Food Programme is the only major international agency addressing the consequences of the food shortage in North Korea. They are a trusted partner for New Zealand’s aid efforts and will help to ensure our assistance gets to those who need it most.

“The contribution announced today is a practical way New Zealand can ensure that the most vulnerable people in the global community have access to food,” said Mr Peters.

This contribution follows the $500,000 New Zealand provided via the International Federation of the Red Cross immediately following last year's floods.