North Korea’s giant leap backwards: Last year’s disastrous currency reform wiped out savings and caused healthcare to collapse–now many fear another famine

by Barbara Demick

Many North Koreans lack food and basic medical care, a report by Amnesty International said this week Photo:Gerald Bourke/AP

For North Koreans, the definition of success is when you can eat an occasional egg, preferably with a bowl of rice, instead of the unappetising concoction of corn and weeds on which most of the population survives. Until recently, a sizeable segment of the North Korean population could afford the basic foodstuffs that are taken for granted elsewhere. Through their hard work and ingenuity, North Koreans had pulled themselves out of the famine of the 1990s that had killed 2 million people, almost 10% of the population. This wasn’t prosperity by any definition of the word, but it was at least survival.

  • World Hunger Education
    Service
    P.O. Box 29015
    Washington, D.C. 20017
  • For the past 40 years, since its founding in 1976, the mission of World Hunger Education Service is to undertake programs, including Hunger Notes, that
    • Educate the general public and target groups about the extent and causes of hunger and malnutrition in the United States and the world
    • Advance comprehension which integrates ethical, religious, social, economic, political, and scientific perspectives on the world food problem
    • Facilitate communication and networking among those who are working for solutions
    • Promote individual and collective commitments to sustainable hunger solutions.

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