Saturday, October 1, 2011

ER endorses letter to Obama urging US Food Aid to North Korea

Eclipse Rising has signed a community letter to the Obama Administration urging them to provide food aid to North Korea.

There is food crisis of grave proportions in North Korea, according to David Austin, head of Mercy Corp North Korea program (they are the leading NGO of the five U.S. NGOs that provide food aid to North Korea).

Christine Hong of the Korea Policy Institute interviewed Mr. Austin about this situation and below is the link to the interview in KoreAm magazine. Christine wrote, "David's account dispels many prevalent misconceptions about food aid to North Korea, and he describes very clearly the crisis--not just chronic but verging upon acute--that the north korean people then faced."

According to Hong, North Korea reached out to the international community late last year to ask for food aid, which was an unusual move. The U.S. responded that North Korea open itself up for a "thorough assessment by humanitarian agencies" and four surveys were conducted (by US NGOs, US government, EU, and one by the UN World Food Program). ALL four confirmed that the country was heading toward a major food crisis. In addition, the typhoon that hit the Korean peninsula this summer has further devastated the food security of North Korea. Without proper food aid, the North Korean people could be facing a recurrence of the famine of the 1990's.

To see the letter to President Obama, please sign on to our googlegroup or e-mail us at

We urge you to spread the word about this crisis in North Korea and write letters of support to the Administration as well.

Thank you,
Kei Fischer
Co-coordinator, Eclipse Rising

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