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North Korea (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea), which emerged from the partition of Korea in 1948, has since lived under the economic and political regime of the "Juche":  a willing based on the principle of “political independence, economic self-sufficiency and military autonomy”.

In the 1990s, the from the collapse of the the Soviet bloc on which much of the imports were based, combined with terrible climatic conditions (floods and drought), deforestation, an excessive use of fertilisers and pesticides reducing the country's limited surfaces of arable land (only 18%) plunged the country into a famine that caused more than a million victims.

In 1995, the Government was forced to seek foreign assistance, which continued until 2006, when development cooperation replaced emergency humanitarian aid. Since then, only five international NGOs - including Triangle Génération Humanitaire - have been allowed to run humanitarian and development programmes with the permanent presence of expatriate staff.

The nutritional situation of North Koreans is still precarious and alarming. Lack of food and poor nutritional quality of food are a real risk for the population, especially children and the elderly. 45% of the inhabitants need food assistance.¹

2018 was a difficult year for the North Korean agriculture. High temperatures between mid-July and mid-August were followed by heavy rains and floods in the country's most productive areas at a key time in crop development. Typhoon Soulik caused heavy rainfall in the eastern part of the country. Rice, cereal, potato and maize harvests were impacted, and some infrastructure needed to be rehabilitated, leading to a slowdown in production. Imports remained far too low to face this situation.

If it is no longer a question of famine today the food crises remains endemic. The country lacks modern agricultural equipment, quality seeds and inputs that would facilitate production. 140,000 children under 5 years of age suffer from severe malnutrition and are at an unusually high risk of infection and mortality. 1 in 5 children are chronically malnourished, causing health problems that cannot be treated, and one-third of children aged 6 to 23 months do not receive enough food². Diarrhoea is one of the two leading causes of death in children under 5 years of age.

The population suffers from health problems due to food insecurity, poor access to health services and lack of access to water and adequate sanitation infrastructure.
International NGOs require derogations to bypass the international sanctions imposed on the country. The delays in obtaining these derogations limit the importation of the necessary equipment and considerably slow down the interventions.

Since 2000, TGH has been active in various sectors: agricultural development/food security (rehabilitation of polders, support to cooperative farms), rehabilitation of drinking water supply systems, improvement of sanitary infrastructure, distribution of food aid in children institutions, improvement of the living conditions in retirement homes, support for an association promoting the rights of the elderly, etc.

In 2018, TGH's work focused mainly on two main objectives: the protection of vulnerable people, especially the elderly (access to care and services), and the improvement of food security, with particular attention to children.

Since 2020, TGH's activities had to be temporarily stopped due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the consequent closure of DPRK's borders. Activities will resume once the borders reopen.

Improving the nutritional value of children's meals by integrating animal protein and diversifying vegetable production

TGH continues its intervention in the integrated fish farming systems initiated in the early 2010's, by supporting the rehabilitation of infrastructure and by providing equipment and training in aquaculture techniques.

In 2018, TGH prioritised the sharing of good aquaculture practices and their dissemination beyond experimental farms. The organisation of study tours between Europe, Vietnam and the DPRK, and the organisation of training sessions and workshops with fish farms and the Bureau of Aquaculture help optimise production and distribution channels as well as strengthen technical and institutional capacities and networks of research in aquaculture.

TGH is also working on improving food diversity through various actions on vegetable production (distribution of agricultural equipment and inputs, construction of greenhouses and promotion of market gardening), and on post-production (work on conservation, hygiene, storage and distribution methods).

Supporting civil society for better care for the elderly

Since 2004, TGH has been supporting the Korean Federation for the Care of the Aged (KFCA) to improve its organisational capacity and expertise in terms of care and services for the elderly.

Trainers’ training and awareness sessions on national and international legislation are provided to the staff.

In 2018, three pilot day care centres (Seniors’ Homes) began their activities, providing a place for socialisation, activities and care and support services for the elderly.

¹March 2019, DPR Korea – Needs and Priorities, UN DPRK Country Team. Available online: https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/DPRK%20NP%202019%20Final.pdf

²March 2019, DPR Korea – Needs and Priorities, UN DPRK Country Team. Available online: https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/DPRK%20NP%202019%20Final.pdf.


Improving food security in Hamju and Jongpyong counties, in South Hamgyong Province

Sécurité alimentaire et moyens d'existence
  • Funding: Aide Alimentaire Programmée (AAP)
  • Beneficiaries: 5 801 people
  • Duration: End date suspended due to COVID-19
  • Budget: EUR 100,000

The action aims at strengthening the agricultural production systems of two farms in Hamju and Jongpyong counties, by reducing their vulnerability to climatic hazards in order to tackle food insecurity.


Greenhouse, February 2020, Haeju, @TGH

Support for food security for children under the age of 6 and the elderly

Sécurité alimentaire et moyens d'existence
  • Funding: Centre de Crise et de Soutien (CDCS)
  • Beneficiaries: 15 159 people
  • Duration: End date suspended due to COVID-19
  • Budget: EUR 100,000

The action aims at providing direct food support and strengthening the productive capacities of fish and agricultural farms in Hamju and Jongpyong counties, in order to reduce food insecurity among children under 6 years old. The action also aims at improving the access to agricultural production for the elderly of two Senior Houses, located in Hamhung, in order to provide them with an extra supply of food.


Improving the nutrition and food shock resistance of children

Sécurité alimentaire et moyens d'existence
  • Funding: EuropeAid
  • Beneficiaries: 71,070 children
  • Duration: End date suspended due to COVID-19
  • Budget: EUR 1,388,889

The action will sustainably improve the food security and nutritional status of children in North Korea, by improving organic fertilisation to increase fish and vegetable production, and by strengthening distribution channels to increase plant and animal protein intake.


SCC of Sariwon. Income-generating activities are offered to the elderly who visit the centre.

Strengthening the Federation for the Care of the Aged

Sécurité alimentaire et moyens d'existence
  • Funding: EuropeAid
  • Beneficiaries: 1,345 people
  • Duration: End date suspended due to COVID-19
  • Budget: EUR 451,961

This programme will sustainably strengthen KFCA’s capacity and raise its profile as a civil society organisation. The aim is to promote the social inclusion, dignity and well-being of older persons in DPRK, including by supporting care institutions for the aged and by organising awareness-raising activities for them.


Improving the child institutions' resilience to food shocks

Sécurité alimentaire et moyens d'existence
  • Funding: European Union
  • Beneficiaries: 13,000 children
  • Duration: End date suspended due to COVID-19
  • Budget: EUR 777,930

The project aims to contribute to the sustainable improvement of the food security, by developing aquaculture activities, and the nutritional status of children dependent on social institutions who are the most vulnerable people considering the persistent technical and organizational deficits in DPRK.



October 2018 / September 2019

Improving food security for vulnerable populations

This programme is in line with the actions undertaken by TGH for more than 10 years and has a positive impact on the availability, access and use of food in institutions for children and the elderly in the Democratic Republic of Korea.


April 2017 / March 2019

Capacity building of the Federation for the Care of the Aged

Since 2004, TGH has been working in partnership with KFCA to improve the living conditions of the elderly in North Korea. This new programme aims at strengthening the partner's skills; improving the capacity of the country's retirement homes; setting up multi-service reception centres for the elderly.


September 2016 / August 2019

Improving diet diversity by increasing vegetables production

The project aims at contributing to a sustainable increase of the vegetable production for the most vulnerable populations of Sohung in order to durably improve diet diversity for the inhabitants of Sohung.


January 2015 / January 2019

Improving children's diet by enhancing animal protein intake

As a whole, the project aims to contribute to a sustainable improvement of the nutritional status of children dependent on social institutions in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).


January 2014 / March 2016

Strengthening Civil Society for Improved Old Age Care

This programme’s objective is to enable the Korean Federation for the Care of the Aged (KFCA) to strengthen its capacity as a ‘non-state’ actor to improve assistance to the aged, by developing its members skills as well as supporting its fundraising activities and communication campaigns...


December 2015

Rehabilitation of the Paekhak Dong kindergarten following the floods in Rason City

TGH supports the rehabilitation of a kindergarten, following torrential rains that affected and caused extensive damage in the north of the country between 22 and 25 August 2015.


March 2015 / December 2015

Improving sustainable access to drinking water and sanitation facilities for the inhabitants of the city of Sohung Phase 2

The project strives to improve sustainable access to drinking water and sanitation facilities for Sohung inhabitants in order to contribute to morbidity and mortality reduction amongst ...


November 2012 / November 2014

Improving access to drinking water and sanitation facilities

Sohung, the administrative center of the North Hwanghae Province, has an outdated water network and insufficient sanitation infrastructure to provide adequate access to drinking water for the population of some areas of the city, especially in schools.


June 2014 / December 2014

Improving the system of geriatric care for the elderly

- Purchase and delivery of medical equipment for the National Research Institute for Gerontology
- Organizing of training sessions in gerontology for health workers and medical students
- Awareness-raising on care of the aged through the creation and distribution of brochures


March 2014 / August 2015

Improving food security of elderly people in retirement homes

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.


September 2012 / December 2013

Rehabilitation of the drinking waterworks damaged by typhoons

On July 19 and 29, 2012, a series of typhoons hit the country, causing torrential and destructive rains and floods. The Provinces of Pyongyang (north and south) and Kangwon were the hardest hit.


April 2013 / December 2013

Improving the quality of food production in the farm of Juk San

Kangwon Province is one of the most vulnerable in DPRK. Supporting vegetable production in the co-op farm of Juk San ensures food diversification in the institutions relying on the popular distribution system.


August 2012 / October 2013

Improvement and diversification of the meals served to children

Over the past two decades, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has had to face many obstacles, being both subject to many natural disasters and to the deterioration of the economic situation. The country experienced chronic food insecurity, especially due to the limited amount of protein and fat intake.


January 2010 / October 2013

Improvement and diversification of meals served to children

One of the elements of the food crisis presently striking the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is the lack of proteins in the food. This nutritional deficiency particularly affects young children between 0 and 6 years old (11% of the population) whose specific nutritional needs can't be covered.


July 2010

On July 22, 2010

Torrential rains* flooded the dikes along Songchon river and inflicted major damage, especially in the areas of Yonggwang and Sinhung where TGH has been operating since 2010.


April 2012 / February 2013

Supporting food security in children institutions relying on milk and fish farms

For several years now, TGH has been supporting fish farms supplying children institutions.


August 2011 / February 2012

Supporting food security in children institutions depending on Sariwon and Deaene farms

This program completes the previous. It intends to improve milk production in the farms supplying children institutions, the aim being in fine to increase the children's daily nutritional intake.


November 2010 / November 2013

Improving Consumption of Milk and Dairy Produce inside Institutions for Children

Specific objective: Improve consumption of milk and dairy products inside institutions for children attached to Sariwon and Daeane farms.


June 2010 / May 2011

Participation in the rehabilitation of the protection infrastructures of the aquaculture farms of Sinhung and Yonggwang

The interventions were normal until the month of July 2010, when heavy rains affected the production and damaged some installations in the two fish farms.


January 2010 / October 2011

Sustainable improvement of the sanitary environment in Munchon

The city of Munchon is located on the East coast of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), and counts 42 500 inhabitants. In the 60's, a water network had been achieved by the government, but, because of a lack of maintenance and means, the network has become totally obsolete and presents numerous dysfunctions.


July 2009 / April 2011

Improve Access to Better Quality Water for the Population of Munchon

Background and relevance of project: Munchon city, with a population of 42,500, is located on the coast of North Korea. In the sixties, the government built a water network, however, owing to lack of maintenance and means, the network has become obsolete and inoperative.


December 2008 / June 2009

Food aid in the framework of the Polder rehabilitation scheme

In terms of Triangle's technical and equipment help, the works stage (rehabilitation of outer dike, construction of inner dikes) is almost over.


December 2006 / August 2009

Increase of the food production potential in South Pyongan province

This programme aims to develop the potential of food production in South Pyongan province by rehabilitating the Kumsong polder and strengthening the capabilities of the Polders Company.


January 2007 / March 2009

Support to the federation for protection of elderly people

This project extends a programme launched in 2004 that rehabilitated six retirement homes in the various provinces of North Korea and significantly improved the living conditions of the elderly people in the homes.


December 2006 / June 2007

Additional Rehabilitation of the Waterworks System in Munchon Town

After two projects dedicated to the rehabilitation of pumping and backflow systems and the increase of the water storage area (the new reservoir of 1000 cubic metres multiplied the original storage capacity by two), we are now working on rehabilitation of the waterworks in Munchon


November 2004 / June 2006

Rehabilitation of the Drinking Waterworks System in Munchon and its Surroundings

Our aim was to increase the quality and quantity of drinking water in the town of Munchon (42,000 inhabitants).


July 2004 / June 2005

Support to Elderly People with No Families - Phase I

In North Korea, there are 24 homes specialising in care for elderly people who do not have any family support.


January 2005 / December 2005

Reforestation and Protection of the Environment in South Pyongyang and South Hwangae Province (Phase II)

This second phase of the project worked on three new nurseries while developing skills and techniques in the first three tree nurseries designed by Triangle in 2003.


June 2002 / June 2005

Rehabilitation of Polders in South Pyongyang Province

In the 70s, aiming to increase farmable areas, the Korean authorities developed the west coast's large river deltas in Polders.


January 2004 / December 2004

Rehabilitation of nurseries and staff training, reforestation and environmental protection (phase I)

This is project was the third of its type to be organised by Triangle in North Korea.


November 2003 / October 2004

Rehabilitation of the Drinking Waterworks and Sanitation Systems

Main aims: Increase the quality and quantity of drinking water in rural areas by rehabilitating current installations. Reduce sanitary and hygiene-related risks through hygiene-awareness campaigns.


January 2003 / December 2003

Reforestation and Protection of the Environment in South Pyongyang and South Hwangae Provinces (Phase I)

This project prolonged Triangle's programme in support of the reforestation centre of South Pyongyang province. It involved rehabilitation of three tree nurseries and protection of the environment.


September 2002 / August 2003

Insulation Works in Schools and Dispensaries in 8 Coop Farms

This project extended our action in the cooperative farms where Triangle had begun working in 2001.