Crisis Severity The severity score from 1 to 5 is based on 31 indicators aggregated into 3 pillars (impact, conditions, and complexity)4.10 Very lowVery high 5
Impact This measures the impact of the crisis itself, in terms of the scope of its geographical, and human effects.4.70 Very lowVery high 5
Humanitarian Conditions This measures the conditions and status of the people affected, including info about the distribution of severity.4.50 Very lowVery high 5
Complexity This measures the complexity of the crisis, in terms of factors that affect its mitigation or resolution.2.90 Very lowVery high 5
Access Constraints This measures the level of humanitarian access constraints.4.0No constraintsExtreme constraints
The humanitarian situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is driven by political and economic factors as well as natural hazards. Chronic food insecurity and limited access to basic services such as healthcare and clean water have left more than 10 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.?
Poor governance and repressive internal political measures have negatively impacted the population by restricting movement and access to goods and services, including humanitarian aid. International sanctions, despite exemptions for humanitarian aid, have caused shortages of funding, supplies, and humanitarian personnel, which has delayed project implementation.?
DPRK is regularly affected by intense rain and flooding, and has recently experienced severe drought-like conditions. In September 2019, Tropical Cyclone Lingling destroyed farmlands up to 60% of farmland in North and South Hwanghae and South Hamgyong provinces. The impact of natural hazards exacerbates the already high food security in the country.?
INFORM considers DPRK to be at high risk of humanitarian crisis with a score of 5.2/10. Lack of coping capacity is the biggest concern with a score of 6.5/10.
DPRK received above-average rainfall throughout August and September causing flooding and landslides, mainly in Southern provinces, and affecting 39,000 hectares of farmland. The main harvest, which begins at the end of August, has been significantly affected, raising food security concerns. Estimates suggest that 40% of the total population are already food insecure.?
Very high constraints
Overall humanitarian access is limited, though improvements have occurred since 2018. All 11 provinces in DPRK are accessible to international staff, although tight restrictions exist for Jagang province. Travel and humanitarian activities remain highly regulated by national authorities. International humanitarian agencies, as well as DPRK nationals, are required to obtain advance clearance for travel outside Pyongyang and international staff must always be accompanied by DPRK nationals. Itineraries must be planned in advance for authorisation and the location of new projects discussed with the government. Economic sanctions, particularly United Nations, and bilateral US secondary sanctions, have restricted the import of humanitarian goods and complicated the funding of humanitarian projects. Road quality outside Pyongyang is of varying quality and flooding caused by the monsoon season further hindered access.
Read more in the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview.
Food: 10.1 million people (39% of the population) are food insecure due to insufficient agricultural production, inability to access a diversity of food, inadequate food utilisation and recurrent natural disasters.?
Health: 8.7 million people lack access to adequate health facilities. Equipment, medicines and specialist staff are particularly lacking for the needs of children under five, pregnant women, people with communicable diseases, and people living with disabilities.?
WASH: 8.4 million people lack access to safe water sources. Basic sanitation facilities are a high priority – especially in rural areas, where 9 in 10 people lack facilities for safe disposal of human waste.?