DPR Korea: Special Focus of East Asia Appeal No. MAA54001 Programme Update No. 5
This report covers the period of 01/01/2007 to 30/04/2007 of the 2006-2007 appeal.
In a world of global challenges, continued poverty, inequity, and increasing vulnerability to
disasters and disease, the International Federation with its global network, works to accomplish its
Global Agenda, partnering with local community and civil society to prevent and alleviate human
suffering from disasters, diseases and public health emergencies.
During the first four months of 2007, the changes in the Federation's strategic programme from
humanitarian aid towards a more developmental approach, set in motion in the previous year in the
DPRK, increased. A series of activities supported the increased focus on national society capacity
building. This included vulnerability capacity assessment (VCA) training with facilitation from the
Federation, which took place in March, and an introductory workshop for the development of the blood
donor recruitment activities of the DPRK Red Cross in April. The DPRK Red Cross staff, involved in
Road Safety activities, paid a working visit to the Cambodia Red Cross. A joint delegation of the
Federation and the DPRK Red Cross participated in a global Red Cross organization development
workshop in Sweden. Several initiatives marked the increased external support and availability of
expertise from partner societies, in the spirit of the cooperation agreement strategy (CAS):
- a visit from the German Red Cross to discuss tracing activities;
- a visit from the Norwegian Red Cross to discuss bilateral activities; and,
- support from Swedish Red Cross and other water and sanitation expert consultants for the review of
the water and sanitation programme.
The regional information officer visited the DPRK in support of the communication activities of the
Red Cross society. Operational responsibilities of the national society shifted further from the
Federation to the DPRK Red Cross with the handing over of Federation trucks.
The procurement process of the new "Il Cha kits" for the supply of medicines and medical materials
began following the pledges from the Danish Red Cross (with ECHO funding) and the German Red Cross
(with German government funding). Unfortunately, due to a long production time, the delivery cannot
take place in May as planned, but in August. An agreement has been reached with UNICEF to borrow
medicines in order to reduce the gap. Other activities in the field of health, water and sanitation,
disaster management and organizational development progressed according to plans. A delay in the tree
planting programme is being addressed.
Political events continued to influence and impact the operational context. This years 'joint
editorial' of the national newspapers and the governments annual statement of affairs, was
titled "Usher in a great heyday of Songun (leadership of the army) as Korea is full of confidence in
victory". The statement not only outlined the continuation of the government's present policies but
also focused on building economic power to improve the living standards of the general population.
The move of the government towards improved livelihood is highly appreciated by the Korean population
and highlights the importance of Red Cross activities in support of vulnerable people.
Full implementation of sanctions on the DPRK, the suspension of the UNDP programme in the DPRK, and
the dispute on the audit of the UN activities in the DPRK complicated the working environment and
effected some, though still manageable, of the Federation operations. Optimism and pessimism
alternated in the six-party talks. The agreement reached by the parties on 13 February was a step
forward, but the difficulties around compliance from the different sides, have not yet brought the
improvement of relations hoped for between the DPRK and other countries.