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Humanitarian aid Swiss relief work in North Korea

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The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) contributes to North Korea’s efforts at food security by tackling soil erosion and access to clean water. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)

The SDC began providing aid to North Korea in 1995. Since 2012, it has been carrying out purely humanitarian programmes in the country. Besides distributing milk powder through the United Nations World Food Programme, it has focused on ways to improve water supplies, waste water management and protection against soil erosion on hilly farmlands.

Furthermore, the SDC has promoted sustainable food production and protection against soil erosion on slopes by planting fruit trees and grass on slopes. Erosion has increasingly become a problem as farmers have been forced to make use of steep sloping land due to food shortages. The SDC’s support therefore aims to promote sustainable food production and to improve health conditions by providing safe drinking water and sanitation facilities.

The nature of North Korea’s totalitarian state has meant that it has remained one of the world’s most secretive societies for the past half-century.