By the Associated Press
TOKYO — 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 percent 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.