Broad-based economic sanctions have been delaying life-saving aid to ordinary people in North Korea for many years. During the COVID-19 pandemic today, these delays represent a threat to global health.
While the scope of the COVID-19 situation in North Korea remains unclear, the country has significant humanitarian needs that make all aid urgent. The United Nations indicated that roughly 10 million people in North Korea are in urgent need of food assistance, and 10.4 million are in need of health assistance of some kind.
Congress can help address this by allowing private organizations to deliver aid to ordinary North Koreans.
Recently, Representative Andy Levin and Senator Ed Markey introduced the Enhancing North Korea Humanitarian Assistance (ENKHA) Act. The bill would address key issues for humanitarian aid organizations.