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Int'l charity bodies visit N. Korea over humanitarian aid

The German Caritas Association and other international charity bodies have recently visited North Korea to expand their humanitarian assistance projects in the North's poverty-stricken rural areas, Radio Free Asia said Wednesday.

According to the radio broadcast, officials of Germany's Caritas visited two of 10 greenhouses now under construction in the North with financial support from the German association.


The German association, which has been involved in the cultivation of vegetables for North Korean tuberculosis and hepatitis patients, plans to build 10 greenhouses and four nursing homes in the North this year.

During their latest visit, Caritas officials also held additional discussions with North Korean authorities about launching a measles and rubella vaccination campaign there, the report said.

Representatives of Christian Friends of Korea, a non-profit US organization, visited North Korea from May 26 to June 16 to offer various kinds of humanitarian aid, including repairs of water purification systems, medical training at a tuberculosis laboratory and treatment of hepatitis B patients, RFA said, citing the group's newsletter.

CFK also examined North Korea's healthcare situation, including unstable supply of tuberculosis drugs, after the unexpected withdrawal of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria from its humanitarian activities in the North.

In addition, Jennifer McMahon, president of New Zealand Red Cross, and other officials arrived in Pyongyang earlier this week, according to the Rodong Sinmun's Wednesday report.

Norway's Red Cross officials also visited the North on June 26-30 to discuss the provision of humanitarian aid. (Yonhap)