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

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.