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Improving food security of elderly people
in retirement homes


Food security and livelihood

Food security and livelihood





FROM 03/2014 TO 08/2015




The living conditions of the most vulnerable groups of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) have dramatically deteriorated since the fall of the socialist bloc in the late 1980s. This crisis is experienced with even more intensity by population groups who fully depend on the State for all their needs, first and foremost the elderly, especially those staying in retirement homes, with no family member to take care of them.

The Korean Federation for the Care of the Aged (KFCA) is responsible for the social and health care and the development of activities adapted to people over 60 years old who receive pensions from the State randomly.

About 3% of the elderly people have no family and must live on their small pension and on uncertain food distributions. Among this population, those living in retirement homes are by far the most vulnerable because they depend entirely on the public distribution system. Although meeting the food needs of elderly people is officially a priority for central authorities, the geographical isolation of most homes, coupled with the lack of logistical means of provincial PDSs1, leads in practice to a chronic deficit in basic foodstuffs, thus worsening the health conditions of an already fragile population.

The objective of this programme is to fight against malnutrition among the elderly, first through the distribution of food products in 24 retirement homes in the country.

Different interventions will then be conducted in retirement homes in order to increase their agricultural production capacity, to support the processing of food for residents’ consumption and the establishment of income-generating activities, and finally to improve the health conditions and conservation/ preparation capacity of the food consumed by residents.

Support will also be provided to the Federation to make a diagnosis of sanitary, food and nutrition practices of employees and provide them with training to enhance their knowledge in terms of hygiene procedures and culinary and nutritional practices concerning food preparation and food balance.

1Public Distribution System