Première Urgence participated to the appeal launched by the United Nations through the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in order to provide relief and assistance to the population affected by the severe floods that devastated some provinces of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Torrential rains between 7 and 14 August 2007 caused severe flooding, land and mudslides in six provinces of DPRK (North Pyongan, South Pyongan, North Hwanghae, South Hwanghae, Kangwon, South Hamgyong) and in its capital, Pyongyang, and have affected over 960,000 people. Given the damaged water supply systems and interrupted basic medical services across the country, the number of flood-affected communities goes far beyond those considered directly affected, i.e. the 170,000 people whose houses were destroyed, damaged or submerged.
Première Urgence (PU) is working in North Korea since 2002 in the field of public health, which allows the organization to reach a very large population. Among other programs, PU installed intravenous fluids production units in 12 hospitals throughout the country. Rehabilitation of health infrastructures (operating rooms, hospitals roofs) is another part of its activities. Through its programs, PU could develop good and trustful relations with local health actors, and acquired a comprehensive experience of the North Korean context.
Première Urgence led field assessments in the 11 counties where the hospitals it is supporting are located, in six different provinces. These assessments showed a great need for emergency relief. Water pumping stations were submerged and severely hit, preventing access to potable water for the population and therefore increasing the risk of water borne disease outbreaks. Some infrastructures were damaged, such as the roof of Unjeon county hospital. In many hospitals medicine stocks were damped and became unusable.
To answer these urgent needs, PU is planning, in coordination with other humanitarian actors in DPRK and local institutions, to provide emergency medical support to the 11 hospitals in the six provinces that have been affected by the floods. PU will carry out waterborne disease prevention, installation of emergency potable water station units and carry out emergency medicines distribution. It will also launch the rehabilitation of some infrastructures damages during the rains. The number of targeted beneficiaries of PU program is estimated at 520,000 people.
To have more information on PU programme in North Korea, you can consult our web site www.premiere-urgence.org or contact Mr David Germain Robin firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel + 33 (0)1 55 66 99 66.