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WFP Aid for N. Korea Drops Again

FILE - A man walks on a dirt path between cornfields in Nampho, North Korea, in June 2015, when the country was enduring what state media called "the worst drought in 100 years."

The World Food Program’s distribution in North Korea has dropped for the third month in a row, the agency said on Monday.

Damian Kean, a regional spokesperson for the U.N. agency, told VOA the WFP provided 1,820 metric tons of food aid to North Korea in November, a 5 percent decrease from the previous month.

The WFP has been cutting food aid to North Korea since August because of a lack of funds. In August, the agency distributed 3,785 tons of food. The following month, it cut the aid to 2,105 tons. The aid dropped again to 1,920 tons in October.

Last month’s amount was more than 30 percent less than last year. It was also significantly less than what the agency planned to distribute. The agency’s goal was to provide 10,000 tons of food to 1.8 million people every month. Five of seven agency-run factories producing nutritious biscuits have remained closed since February 2014.

The agency launched food aid projects in July 2013 in the communist country, but has struggled to fund them.

The WFP says it needs $167.8 million to fund the effort that is scheduled to end at the end of the year, but has secured only half of that amount so far, according to the agency’s website.

Jee Abbey Lee contributed to this report, which was produced in collaboration with the VOA Korean service.