Pyongyang, June 12 (ANI): North Korea is facing acute shortage of food, and millions of children are not getting enough healthcare needed to develop physically or mentally, the United Nations has said.
The UN, in a detailed update on the humanitarian situation in North Korea, said that Nearly a third of children under the age of five show signs of stunting, particularly in rural areas where food is scarce, and chronic diarrhoea due to a lack of clean water.
The agency stressed that sanitation and electricity has become the leading cause of death among children, Expres.co.uk reports.
Hospitals are spotless but bare, few have running water or power, and drugs and medicine are in short supply, the UN said.
The report, by Jerome Sauvage, the UN's Pyongyang-based resident co-ordinator for North Korea, paints a horrific picture of deprivation in the countryside, not often seen by outsiders, who are usually not allowed to travel beyond the relatively prosperous Pyongyang.
Sauvage's report provides not only further evidence of North Korea's inability to feed its people, but also bolsters critics who say the government should be spending on food security instead of building up its military.
According to the report, the UN called for 198 million US dollars in donations for 2012, mostly to help feed the hungry.
The appeal comes at a delicate time for North Korea, which has sought to project an image of stability and unity during the transition to power of the new young leader Kim Jong Un. (ANI)