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Food aid going to North Korea after floods

Heavy rains, flooding kill 88 and leave 60,000 homeless in North Korea.

China north korea flood 2011 08 18Enlarge
A villager looks at a destroyed home after a flash flood swept through Kuandian, near the China-North Korea border in northeast China's Liaoning province on Aug. 21, 2010. Heavy rain sparked serious flooding along the border again this year. (Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

The World Food Program is sending emergency aid to flood-ravaged areas of North Korea, where recent heavy rains have left at least 88 people dead and more than 60,000 homeless.

Storms across the country between July 18 and 29 triggered widespread flooding and, in some places, severe damage to homes, infrastructure and farmland, the WFP said in a news release.

Victims will get 14 ounces of maize per day for two weeks.

A recent United Nations mission in flood-affected regions found considerable damage to maize, soybean and rice fields. The WFP said it would continue to monitor the situation.

A more comprehensive assessment of the situation and of prospects for food production is scheduled for September.

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According to state media, rains have damaged roughly 4,000 homes, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The UN said many hospitals are damaged and inaccessible, water supplies are tainted and sanitation systems compromised.

North Korea, long battling malnutrition, lost a planned shipment of food aid from the United States when it went ahead with a long-range rocket test earlier this year.

“Most areas of (North Korea) are expected to suffer big damage from continuous downpour accompanied by thunder and storm,” CNN reported, citing the state Korean Central News Agency.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/120803/food-aid-going-north-korea-after-floods