Swedish envoy concerned about collateral humanitarian damage of sanctions on DPRK

Source:Xinhua Published: 2018/11/22 9:42:46

Sweden's UN envoy on Wednesday expressed concern about the collateral damage of the Security Council's sanctions imposed on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the country's humanitarian situation.

"Despite humanitarian exemptions that exist in the resolutions in the sanctions regime, there are still reports of adverse, indirect impacts of the sanctions on the humanitarian situation (in the DPRK)," Olof Skoog, the Swedish permanent representative to the UN, told reporters after the council held a consultation on the work of its committee monitoring the sanction scheme.

Skoog further said the process allowing for exemptions to deliver aid is "a bit cumbersome," adding that humanitarian agencies are concerned about the delays in the committee for approving such exemptions.

At Wednesday's consultation, the UN relief wing, or OCHA, briefed the council members on the humanitarian situation in the country.

"The humanitarian situation is dire," said the Swedish envoy, noting the international community needs to do its utmost to provide life-saving support for the population.

Chronic under-funding is hampering the humanitarian effort in the DPRK, Skoog said, urging all countries to come in with financial support to OCHA and to the agencies operating in the country and beyond.

"No one is supporting sanctions that are hurting the civilian population," Skoog said.

In July, UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said during his trip to the DPRK that the country has made a lot of progress in improving on the humanitarian front since 2012, although challenges remain regarding child malnutrition as well as the lack of safe water and medical supplies.


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