At least 10.9 million people in DPRK are in need of humanitarian assistance in 2019, especially food and healthcare. This represents an increase from the 10.3 million people in need in 2018.? The complex humanitarian crisis is driven by political and economic factors, as well as natural hazards.? 

Poor governance and repressive internal political measures have had negative impacts on the people: the government’s ambitions to develop nuclear weapons have led to the imposition of international sanctions, which also affects aid. The current lack of international funding for DPRK is likely to exacerbate needs, and some agencies have already reduced operations in the country. The government also severely restricts humanitarian access.?

DPRK is regularly affected by intense rain and flooding, or by droughts. In 2017, DPRK experienced the worst drought in more than 15 years. In 2018, the country experienced severe flooding, and was hit by Tropical Storm Soulik in August.?

For 2019, INFORM measures DPRK's risk index at 4.7/10. The country ranks relatively high in the "Lack of coping capacity" category, at 6.4/10.? 

Key priorities

Food: Chronic food insecurity, early childhood malnutrition and nutrition insecurity are widespread in DPRK. Around 10.9 million people, or 43.6% of the total population, are undernourished.?

Health: Children under five, pregnant women, people with communicable diseases, and people living with disabilities are the most vulnerable in regards to the lack of health services. Many health facilities lack specialist equipment and trained staff.?

Access: Travel within DPRK remains regulated by national authorities. International humanitarian agencies need to obtain advance clearance for field visits outside of Pyongyang.?

Information Gaps and needs

Information flows are slowly improving but poor humanitarian access has created major information gaps. Access to up-to-date baseline data continues to be a challenge. The last National Nutrition Survey was carried out in 2012. The last Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) was carried out in 2013, and although the Government has since conducted its own crop assessment, they omit key nutritional data. A national population census is expected to be carried out in 2018.?

Key documents

DPRK Needs and Priorities March 2018