World

World Food Program has funds to stay in North Korea through March but uncertain after that

FILE - this June 26, 1997 file photo shows bags of cereal provided by the UN world food program at a corner of an almost empty warehouse used as a food storage in Hui Chon County, 200 kilometers (125 miles) northwest of Pyongyang. The U.N. agency that has provided food aid to North Korea for nearly two decades says it has enough donations to stay open for the rest of this year but is uncertain whether it will be able to operate there beyond next March. (AP Photo/UN, James Bu)

FILE - this June 26, 1997 file photo shows bags of cereal provided by the UN world food program at a corner of an almost empty warehouse used as a food storage in Hui Chon County, 200 kilometers (125 miles) northwest of Pyongyang. The U.N. agency that has provided food aid to North Korea for nearly two decades says it has enough donations to stay open for the rest of this year but is uncertain whether it will be able to operate there beyond next March. (AP Photo/UN, James Bu)  (The Associated Press)

The U.N. agency that has provided food aid to North Korea for nearly two decades says it has enough donations to stay open for the rest of this year but is uncertain whether it will be able to operate there beyond next March.

The World Food Program has been struggling to meet its funding needs. Donors have been less generous with the North because of concerns over political issues there and the perception that aid is more urgently needed elsewhere — particularly in parts of Africa and the Middle East.

Silke Buhr, the WFP's regional spokeswoman, said Monday the crisis has been averted for now but the operation is still only 40 percent funded and more funds are urgently needed to maintain it after next March.