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UN backs plan to unblock humanitarian aid to North Korea

AFP  |  United Nations 

The today approved US-drafted measures aimed at ensuring that tough sanctions on do not impede deliveries of humanitarian aid to the isolated country.

Nearly half of North Korea's population - 10 million people - are undernourished, according to UN officials, who have reported a drop in

UN resolutions specify that sanctions should not affect humanitarian aid, but relief organisations argue that strict trade and measures are creating bureaucratic obstacles and slowing down the flow of vital supplies.

The last month proposed new guidelines to allow and UN agencies to quickly obtain exemptions from the council committee that oversees implementation of sanctions.

After weeks of negotiations, the proposal was approved today.

Dutch Deputy UN Lise Gregoire-van Haaren, whose country chairs the sanctions committee, said the guidelines will hopefully "provide clarity on delivering humanitarian aid to the North Korean people without violating sanctions."

"Our ultimate goal is the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and the sanctions are very important to that end," she said.

A notice will be sent to the UN's 193 member-states by the committee "to provide a clear explanation" of the procedure for exemptions which will "improve the delivery of humanitarian assistance" to North Korea, a committee document said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, August 07 2018. 02:25 IST