July 4, 2011 / 6:12 AM / 9 years ago

EU clears food aid for North Korea

BRUSSELS, July 4 (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Monday it will give 10 million euros ($14.54 million) of food aid to North Korea to help tackle famine in the reclusive state which has left over half a million people at risk of dying.

“The objective of the 10 million euro aid package is to lift around 650,000 people, mainly in the northern and eastern provinces of the country, out of the hunger zone during the most difficult period of the worst year for food production in recent times,” the European Commission said in a statement.

More than 6 million people are in urgent need of outside assistance, according to a United Nations report issued in March.

International sanctions, a tough conservative leader in the South, and a wary U.S. administration have meant a substantial decline in food aid from traditional donors to the secretive state. ($1=.6876 Euro) (Reporting by Ben Deighton)

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