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NORTH KOREA

North Korea (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea), which emerged from the partition of Korea in 1948, has since lived under the economic and political regime of the "Juche":  a willing based on the principle of “political independence, economic self-sufficiency and military autonomy”.

In the 1990s, the from the collapse of the the Soviet bloc on which much of the imports were based, combined with terrible climatic conditions (floods and drought), deforestation, an excessive use of fertilisers and pesticides reducing the country's limited surfaces of arable land (only 18%) plunged the country into a famine that caused more than a million victims.

In 1995, the Government was forced to seek foreign assistance, which continued until 2006, when development cooperation replaced emergency humanitarian aid. Since then, only five international NGOs - including Triangle Génération Humanitaire - have been allowed to run humanitarian and development programmes with the permanent presence of expatriate staff.

The nutritional situation of North Koreans is still precarious and alarming. Lack of food and poor nutritional quality of food are a real risk for the population, especially children and the elderly. 45% of the inhabitants need food assistance.¹

2018 was a difficult year for the North Korean agriculture. High temperatures between mid-July and mid-August were followed by heavy rains and floods in the country's most productive areas at a key time in crop development. Typhoon Soulik caused heavy rainfall in the eastern part of the country. Rice, cereal, potato and maize harvests were impacted, and some infrastructure needed to be rehabilitated, leading to a slowdown in production. Imports remained far too low to face this situation.

If it is no longer a question of famine today the food crises remains endemic. The country lacks modern agricultural equipment, quality seeds and inputs that would facilitate production. 140,000 children under 5 years of age suffer from severe malnutrition and are at an unusually high risk of infection and mortality. 1 in 5 children are chronically malnourished, causing health problems that cannot be treated, and one-third of children aged 6 to 23 months do not receive enough food². Diarrhoea is one of the two leading causes of death in children under 5 years of age.

The population suffers from health problems due to food insecurity, poor access to health services and lack of access to water and adequate sanitation infrastructure.
International NGOs require derogations to bypass the international sanctions imposed on the country. The delays in obtaining these derogations limit the importation of the necessary equipment and considerably slow down the interventions.

Since 2000, TGH has been active in various sectors: agricultural development/food security (rehabilitation of polders, support to cooperative farms), rehabilitation of drinking water supply systems, improvement of sanitary infrastructure, distribution of food aid in children institutions, improvement of the living conditions in retirement homes, support for an association promoting the rights of the elderly, etc.

In 2018, TGH's work focused mainly on two main objectives: the protection of vulnerable people, especially the elderly (access to care and services), and the improvement of food security, with particular attention to children.

Improving the nutritional value of children's meals by integrating animal protein and diversifying vegetable production

TGH continues its intervention in the integrated fish farming systems initiated in the early 2010's, by supporting the rehabilitation of infrastructure and by providing equipment and training in aquaculture techniques.

In 2018, TGH prioritised the sharing of good aquaculture practices and their dissemination beyond experimental farms. The organisation of study tours between Europe, Vietnam and the DPRK, and the organisation of training sessions and workshops with fish farms and the Bureau of Aquaculture help optimise production and distribution channels as well as strengthen technical and institutional capacities and networks of research in aquaculture.

TGH is also working on improving food diversity through various actions on vegetable production (distribution of agricultural equipment and inputs, construction of greenhouses and promotion of market gardening), and on post-production (work on conservation, hygiene, storage and distribution methods).

Supporting civil society for better care for the elderly

Since 2004, TGH has been supporting the Korean Federation for the Care of the Aged (KFCA) to improve its organisational capacity and expertise in terms of care and services for the elderly.

Trainers’ training and awareness sessions on national and international legislation are provided to the staff.

In 2018, three pilot day care centres (Seniors’ Homes) began their activities, providing a place for socialisation, activities and care and support services for the elderly.

¹March 2019, DPR Korea – Needs and Priorities, UN DPRK Country Team. Available online: https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/DPRK%20NP%202019%20Final.pdf

²March 2019, DPR Korea – Needs and Priorities, UN DPRK Country Team. Available online: https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/DPRK%20NP%202019%20Final.pdf.

CURRENT PROGRAMMES

Improving the nutrition and food shock resistance of children

Sécurité alimentaire et moyens d'existence
  • Funding: EuropeAid
  • Beneficiaries: 71,070 children
  • Duration: 36 months - From 05/01/2019 to 04/30/2022
  • Budget: €1,388,889

The action will sustainably improve the food security and nutritional status of children in North Korea, by improving organic fertilisation to increase fish and vegetable production, and by strengthening distribution channels to increase plant and animal protein intake.

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SCC of Sariwon. Income-generating activities are offered to the elderly who visit the centre.

Strengthening the Federation for the Care of the Aged

Sécurité alimentaire et moyens d'existence
  • Funding: EuropeAid
  • Beneficiaries: 1,345 people
  • Duration: 24 months - From 01/01/2019 to 12/31/2020
  • Budget: €406,765

This programme will sustainably strengthen KFCA’s capacity and raise its profile as a civil society organisation. The aim is to promote the social inclusion, dignity and well-being of older persons in DPRK, including by supporting care institutions for the aged and by organising awareness-raising activities for them.

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Personnes âgées travaillant dans les serres afin d’augmenter leur apport en nourriture.

Improving food security for vulnerable populations

Sécurité alimentaire et moyens d'existence
  • Funding: Crisis and Support Centre
  • Beneficiaries: 2,339 people
  • Duration: 12 months - From 10/01/2018 to 09/30/2019
  • Budget: €100,000

This programme is in line with the actions undertaken by TGH for more than 10 years and has a positive impact on the availability, access and use of food in institutions for children and the elderly in the Democratic Republic of Korea.

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Improving the child institutions' resilience to food shocks

Sécurité alimentaire et moyens d'existence
  • Funding: European Union
  • Beneficiaries: 13,000 children
  • Duration: 40 months, starting 02/01/2018
  • Budget: €777,930

The project aims to contribute to the sustainable improvement of the food security, by developing aquaculture activities, and the nutritional status of children dependent on social institutions who are the most vulnerable people considering the persistent technical and organizational deficits in DPRK.

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Preparation of the International Day of Older Persons, Munchon

Capacity building of the Federation for the Care of the Aged

Education et protection
  • Funding: European Union, CIAA
  • Beneficiaries: 3,301,508 people
  • Duration: 24 months - From 1/04/2017 to 31/03/2019
  • Budget: €533,330

Since 2004, TGH has been working in partnership with KFCA to improve the living conditions of the elderly in North Korea. This new programme aims at strengthening the partner's skills; improving the capacity of the country's retirement homes; setting up multi-service reception centres for the elderly.

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Greenhouses under construction at the farm of Gachang

Improving diet diversity by increasing vegetables production

Sécurité alimentaire et moyens d'existence
  • Funding: European Union (90%), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
  • Beneficiaries: 42,578 people
  • Duration: 36 months - From 09/2016 to 08/2019
  • Budget: €1,200,000

The project aims at contributing to a sustainable increase of the vegetable production for the most vulnerable populations of Sohung in order to durably improve diet diversity for the inhabitants of Sohung.

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Fishing for broodstock. Farm of Onchon

Improving children's diet by enhancing animal protein intake

Sécurité alimentaire et moyens d'existence
  • Funding: European Union (75%), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), French food aid (AAP)
  • Beneficiaries: 235 000 people
  • Duration: 48 months - From 01/01/2015 to 01/2019
  • Budget: €1,338,348

As a whole, the project aims to contribute to a sustainable improvement of the nutritional status of children dependent on social institutions in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

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COMPLETED PROGRAMMES

January 2014 / March 2016

Strengthening Civil Society for Improved Old Age Care

This programme’s objective is to enable the Korean Federation for the Care of the Aged (KFCA) to strengthen its capacity as a ‘non-state’ actor to improve assistance to the aged, by developing its members skills as well as supporting its fundraising activities and communication campaigns...

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December 2015

Rehabilitation of the Paekhak Dong kindergarten following the floods in Rason City

TGH supports the rehabilitation of a kindergarten, following torrential rains that affected and caused extensive damage in the north of the country between 22 and 25 August 2015.

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March 2015 / December 2015

Improving sustainable access to drinking water and sanitation facilities for the inhabitants of the city of Sohung Phase 2

The project strives to improve sustainable access to drinking water and sanitation facilities for Sohung inhabitants in order to contribute to morbidity and mortality reduction amongst ...

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