The United Nations launched a $14 million flash appeal today to aid the nearly one million victims of severe flooding in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) over the past two weeks. Over 450 people have been killed and 170,000 made homeless by the widespread flooding, landslides and mudslides which have affected approximately 960,000 people. “United Nations agencies and European Union (EU) Programme Support Units are working closely with the Government of DPRK to bring urgent assistance to those affected by this disaster,” said UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Margareta Wahlström at the appeal’s launch in New York. Thousands are taking refuge in temporary shelters, and ensuring potable water supplies and preventing more cases of water-borne diseases have been identified as key priorities. “I urge the international community to respond swiftly and generously to this appeal, to prevent further suffering,” Ms. Wahlström said. The appeal seeks to supplement the DPRK’s response to meet the most urgent needs of those affected over the next three months, and will focus on providing essential medicines, clean water and food. “Support must be provided now to provide the most vulnerable with basic food items, ensure access to essential medicines, and prevent malnutrition,” said Jean-Pierre de Margerie, UN Acting Resident Coordinator for DPRK. “The humanitarian community is relying on international donors to fund this flash appeal to ensure that the most vulnerable communities urgently receive the assistance they need.” According to joint assessments by the Government and international organizations, 240,000 homes, as well as basic medical services and key infrastructure, have suffered major damage. Exacerbating concerns about food insecurity, significant damage to crops has also been reported. 28 August 2007The United Nations launched a $14 million flash appeal today to aid the nearly one million victims of severe flooding in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) over the past two weeks.