February 2013 – Mission East
Mission East began its work in North Korea in 2011 in response to a series of dramatic weather incidents which damaged the previous harvest and led to cuts in government food rations for the population to only one-third of the daily energy requirements.
Since 2011, Mission East has carried out three food assistance interventions for almost 50,000 young children through kindergartens, nurseries, orphanages and paediatric hospitals in North Pyongan, Kangwon and South Hwanghae Provinces. This aid provided a more balanced diet for young children who are at a critical stage for growth. Inadequate nutrition at this age can cause stunted physical growth or psychological problems which can last a lifetime. It is estimated that more than one third of all children in North Korea under five years old are chronically malnourished, resulting in stunted growth.
In 2012, Mission East is also responding to the devastating damage caused by flooding and typhoons stronger than have been experienced in most North Koreans’ lifetime. Mission East is re-building homes for those made homeless and wish to assist with the reconstruction of damaged water systems.
Looking to the future, Mission East is looking for opportunities to begin long-term projects which help to address some of the root-causes of food insecurity in North Korea. We also hope to bring our expertise in providing clean water and improving sanitation and hygiene conditions to the North Korean context.