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UN official says North Korea needs food, medicine, clean water

UN official says North Korea needs food, medicine, clean water
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A senior UN official visiting North Korea is highlighting malnutrition, drinking water and a shortage of medicines as problems facing the country

A senior UN official visiting North Korea is highlighting malnutrition, drinking water and a shortage of medicines as problems facing the country.

Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock told a news conference in Pyongyang on Wednesday that much progress has been made in the last 20 years but "significant humanitarian challenges" remain.

The UN released a transcript of his remarks.

Lowcock said about 20 per cent of children are stunted because of malnutrition, and about half the children in rural areas are drinking contaminated water. He said a shortage of drugs and medical supplies and equipment is making it very difficult to treat people.

The UN is trying to raise $111 million for North Korea. Lowrock said only 10 percent has been raised so far, from Sweden, Switzerland and Canada.

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