In 2019, severe drought in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea caused a shortage in food supplies of rice and maize, the country’s main crops. Then three typhoons in 2020 damaged grain fields across the land, causing even more concern about food security.
In October 2019, members of the Supreme Master Ching Hai Association in China formed a relief team and purchased an initial 30 tons of rice, which was then delivered to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Upon hearing of the continued vulnerability of the affected people, our Benevolent Supreme Master Ching Hai in December 2019 kindly offered US$45,000 and requested that our Association members provide further assistance. Using these funds as well as donations from Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association members in Asia, 200 tons of high-quality rice and 100,000 protective face masks were purchased, all valued at approximately US$177,000. Although the COVID-19 pandemic caused inevitable material shortages and delays, the relief team’s efforts were met with Master’s grace every step of the way. The vendors for both the rice and the face masks were willing to provide them for less than market price. Together with port officials and storage supervisors, they jointly offered free loading and unloading, as well as free storage and truck transportation in China. Even when the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea closed all its borders to limit virus exposure, the relief team was miraculously able to find the one agency that was still allowed through.
An official ceremony to present the relief assistance was held on October 20, 2020 in Dandong, the border city between China and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. In attendance were delegates from the intermediary agency of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea with the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, officials from the Consulate General in Shenyang, China, and a representative from the Red Cross Society of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Also present were the vendors, port officials, and storage personnel, as well as relief team members of the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association. Our relief team members are deeply grateful to Master for Her compassionate care for the people of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. We also appreciate the generous assistance of the vendors and all officials, as well as our Association members’ unified efforts. May the dignified people of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea soon be restored to lives of plentiful stability, in the grace of the Divine.