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Belgium-based NGO to spend US$1.1 mln in 2014 for disabled N. Koreans

2014/03/19 09:19

SEOUL, March 19 (Yonhap) -- An international civic group based in Belgium plans to send over US$1 million in aid this year to North Korea to help the disabled there, a media report said Wednesday.

The Belgium branch of Handicap International earmarked $1.12 million for this year to support medical and rehabilitation facilities in the communist country to promote the health and wellbeing of the disabled there, the Voice of America (VOA) reported, citing an e-mail from the agency's official Dominique Delvigne.

The budget is also to be spent for such projects as nurturing teachers in charge of special education for visually- and hearing-impaired people, and assisting the (North) Korean Federation for the Protection of the Disabled (KFPD), the official added.

The NGO, established in 1982 to help disabled and vulnerable people in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster, began to help physically challenged people in North Korea in 1998 at the request of the KFPD.

According to the report on disability published by the World Health Organization in 2013, some 3.4 percent of the population in North Korea suffered from a disability as of 2007.

graceoh@yna.co.kr

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