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A Case for Food Aid to North Korea - From One Who's Been There

By David Austin, Program Director for Mercy Corps operations in North Korea

Friday, September 30, 2011
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
10383 Bunche Hall


In February 2011, David Austin led a team of US based NGOs on a food security assessment in North Korea.  Their findings are well known, as are the subsequent assessments by 3 UN Agencies, the European Community, and even the US government.  In April they have proposed a food aid program to USAID which has gone unanswered these past 5 months.  In early September the US NGOs returned to North Korea and found the situation had deteriorated considerably.

Food aid to North Korea has provoked serious debate about the policies of letting people starve to accomplish political ends.  David Austin will outline the case for responsible, monitored food aid to the most vulnerable in North Korea, explain the methods that insure delivery rather diversion, and answer your questions about one of the most difficult foreign policy questions facing the Obama administration today.


David Austin serves as the Program Director for Mercy Corps operations in North Korea.  Mercy Corps has worked throughout the DPRK for more than twelve years in agricultural development, medical, relief, food assistance and cultural exchanges. Before coming to Mercy Corps, Mr. Austin worked with the US Department of State as the Special Assistant to Ambassador Tony Hall in Rome, Italy at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Agencies; and then served as the Executive Director of the State Department’s Interfaith Cooperative Initiative in the Holy Land with Ambassador Hall and Cardinal Theodore McCarrick on a multi-year outreach to the religious leaders of the Holy Land in support of the peace process. He is a native Oregonian, received his B.A from the University of Washington in Seattle, his Masters from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, and is currently acquiring an Executive MBA from the University of Portland.  He is married and has two children. 

This event is free and open to the public

Cost : Free

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