• Crisis Severity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 31,000 People displaced [?]



At least 10.9 million people in DPRK are in need of humanitarian assistance in 2019, especially food and healthcare. This represents an increase from the 10.3 million people in need in 2018. ?The complex humanitarian crisis is driven by political and economic factors, as well as natural hazards. ?

Poor governance and repressive internal political measures have had negative impacts on the people: the government’s ambitions to develop nuclear weapons have led to the imposition of international sanctions, which also affects aid. The current lack of international funding for DPRK is likely to exacerbate needs, and some agencies have already reduced operations in the country. The government also severely restricts humanitarian access. ?

DPRK is regularly affected by intense rain and flooding, or by droughts. In 2017, DPRK experienced the worst drought in more than 15 years. In 2018, the country experienced severe flooding, and was hit by Tropical Storm Soulik in August. ?


Latest Developments


No significant recent humanitarian developments. This country is being monitored by our analysis team. 

Humanitarian Access


Very High Constraints 

Overall humanitarian access remains poor, though some agencies note an improvement. While the government of DPRK tightly regulates the access and activities of humanitarian organisations, access is now possible for national and international staff in all 11 provinces – Jagang was inaccessible to international staff until last year. However, travel within DPRK remains regulated by national authorities. International humanitarian agencies need to obtain advance clearance for field visits outside of Pyongyang, as do DPRK nationals. Itineraries must be planned in advance and international staff must be accompanied by DPRK nationals. Road networks outside Pyongyang are of varying quality and in some areas become impassable during winter. The demilitarised zone border area between DPRK and South Korea is heavily mined. Detention and labour camps remain inaccessible. ?

Download the full Humanitarian Access Overview

Key Priorities


Food: Chronic food insecurity, early childhood malnutrition and nutrition insecurity are widespread in DPRK. Around 10.9 million people, or 43.6% of the total population, are undernourished. ?

Health: Children under five, pregnant women, people with communicable diseases, and people living with disabilities are the most vulnerable in regards to the lack of health services. Many health facilities lack specialist equipment and trained staff. ?