Saturday, January 24, 2009

UNDP returning to North Korea

A U.N. aid agency that left North Korea two years ago amid U.S. charges of financial mismanagement will resume work there later this year under a decision this week by its board, officials said on Friday.

The U.N. Development Program's executive board gave the green light for UNDP to return to North Korea after considering a report by the agency that proposed tightening up hiring and payment procedures to address critics' concerns.

The report said programs that UNDP would resume included rural energy development, wind power promotion, seed production and reduction of post-harvest losses in North Korea, which has suffered from flooding and famine in recent years.

A U.N. audit, the external review and a separate U.S. Senate subcommittee inquiry found that UNDP had made mistakes, but did not substantiate the main U.S. charge of funding suspect North Korean bodies, which the agency strongly denied.


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