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In late August 2016, a devastating flood triggered by Typhoon Lionrock in the northeast of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPR Korea) caused widespread damage and casualties across 6 counties and cities in North Hamgyong Province. Over 70,000 people lost their homes while more than 500 people died or went missing.

‘I was so scared as the rain seemed to not stop; I had never experienced this before,’ said Chae, a 50-year-old villager. At the time, Chae and her husband, daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter were warned about the flood, and advised to leave their house and seek higher ground. Since Chae’s house was washed away by the flood and buried under the mud, the government provided her and her family with a temporary shelter.

Chae and her family members showing the quilts they received from OHK.

Since then, Oxfam Hong Kong (OHK) has been working in the most critical areas in North Hamgyong Province by responding to survivors’ immediate needs with things like food, quilts and shelter materials. Thousands of quilts were also distributed in the villages in Onsong County. ‘Oxfam’s quilts are very good – they are warm, soft and comfortable,’ Chae said. When she learnt that the support she and her family received was from Hong Kong, she sent her sincere appreciation to people of Hong Kong for their care and concern.

Apart from responding to survivors’ immediate needs, OHK has also rebuilt an irrigation system and supplied basic agricultural inputs to restore agricultural production and enhance the livelihood resilience of the flood-affected communities. OHK will continue to implement a longer-term rehabilitation programme in communities to achieve sustainable food production and ensure that this work meets people’s needs, both now and in the future.

A programme officer from OHK conducting a post-disaster interview with the family.

• Population: 25,248,140 (July 2017 est.)

• GDP - per capita (PPP): US$1,700 (2015 est.)

• GDP - composition, by sector of origin:

- Agriculture: 21.6%
- Industry: 46.2%
- Services: 32.2% (2015 est.)

• Life expectancy at birth: 70.4 years

• Infant mortality rate: 22.9 deaths/1,000 live births

• Adult literacy rate: 100%

(Source: Central Intelligence Agency, The World Fact book 2017)