North Korea at high risk for humanitarian crisis

North Korea is one of the world’s top 30 countries at risk of experiencing a humanitarian crisis, according to the Inter-Agency Standing Committee.


The IASC, the primary body for inter-agency coordination of humanitarian assistance that is affiliated with the United Nations, stated in its annual risk management report North Korea ranked 30 among 191 countries, for its vulnerability to crisis and natural disasters, Voice of America reported Friday.

The risk management index is a numerical measure of the risk of a humanitarian crisis or natural disaster in a country, the state’s vulnerabilities, and measures its capability to cope with violent conflicts.
North Korea received 5.1 points for “hazard and exposure,” which assesses the risk of catastrophe resulting from natural disaster like floods, droughts and typhoons, as well as the possibility of outbreaks of violence.

In the area of risks to the population’s health and access to food, North Korea scored 5 points, and the country’s social infrastructure and coping capabilities were given 6.9 points.

The higher the score, the more vulnerable a country is to risks.

South Korea, by contrast, received 1.9 points for its infrastructure and coping capabilities, Japan 0.8 points and China 3.7 points.

South Korea also scored a low 1.6 points on the risk management index, well below 5.6 points for North Korea.

Seoul ranked 170 among the 191 countries under assessment for its vulnerability to crisis and natural disasters.

Somalia, at 9.2 points ranked highest on the index, followed by the Central African Republic, Afghanistan and Chad.

By Elizabeth Shim