By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ANKARA (AA) - The UN has relaxed some of its sanctions against North Korea, allowing for aid to be delivered in the country facing widespread food shortages, the organization announced on Tuesday.
The UN Security Council (UNSC) has granted sanctions exemption to allow the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) to conduct relief programs in North Korea "to improve the health and nutrition of people in the impoverished country," Seoul-based Yonhap news agency reported.
The move comes alongside efforts of the World Food Program and South Korea to send aid to Pyongyang where a million people face food shortages.
The UNSC has approved items worth $5.75 million to enable UNICEF to deliver safe water supplies and help hospitals provide effective treatment, especially for malnourished children and mothers.
North Korea has been under tightening UN sanctions since 2006 when it performed its first test-firing in its nuclear weapons program.
Denmark will be sending the most expensive set of materials including vaccine cold chain equipment worth $3.87 million.
The items will be used to store vaccines for around 355,000 children under 1 year of age and 362,000 pregnant women, UNICEF said.
"Our staff will conduct regular monitoring to ensure the goods are used for their intended purposes," it added.