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WFP Concerned Aid Not Reaching All North Koreans in Need


A senior official with the U.N. World Food Program says his organization is concerned it will not be able to reach millions of North Koreans in need of food assistance.

In an interview Tuesday with VOA's Korean Service, the agency's Asia regional director, Tony Banbury, said the organization is currently providing food assistance to 1.2 million people in North Korea. At the end of 2005, the WFP was providing food assistance to more than six million people.

Banbury said the organization has been providing assistance in only 30 counties since it resumed aid distribution in North Korea in early June.

North Korea has said it no longer needs food aid because of improved harvests, but Banbury says the need for aid remains high.

Pyongyang ordered the WFP out of the country late last year.

The WFP signed an agreement with North Korean officials in May to allow it to resume operations . The program aims to eventually assist about 1.9 million people.

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