North Korea has urgently asked for donations of vaccine and other equipment needed to contain foot-and-mouth disease, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization said Thursday. An FAO delegation that just returned to Rome from a tour of the North confirmed widespread outbreaks in North Korea and veterinary services are in dire need of improvement.
The FAO estimates that around US$1 million is required for training, supplies and infrastructure, vaccines and the setting up of monitoring, reporting and response systems. Foot-and-mouth has been reported in eight of North Korea's 13 cities and provinces. Farm animals are crucial to food supply in North Korea and many animals are dying, the FAO said, making chronic food shortages worse.
Pyongyang announced last month that the disease dealt a heavy blow to the country since it broke out late last year.