Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang (AFP-Yonhap)
About six out of ten North Koreans or 15.3 million population of the country are estimated to suffer undernutrition this year, as the country’s already poor economy has been dealt a blow from the COVID-19 pandemic, the US Agriculture Department’s Economic Research Service said in its latest report on food security worldwide.
Last year, 14.6 million North Koreans, 57 percent of the total, did not have enough food. The food crisis there showed no immediate signs of abating, as 45 percent of the population were forecast to remain undernourished in 2030, according to International Food Security Assessment 2020-30.
A country is considered food insecure when residents cannot consume 2,100 calories per day, as recommended by the UN for a healthy diet.
North Korea was one of three countries in Asia, along with Afghanistan and Yemen, with the highest rates of food insecurity.
It was also one of three countries, the others being Afghanistan and Somalia, where international hunger agencies could not obtain sufficient internal data to draw up an accurate map of the health of its residents, according to the UN.
By Choi Si-young (firstname.lastname@example.org