Samaritan’s Purse, a North Carolina-based Christian relief organization, airlifted an $8 million aid package to North Korean flood victims last Friday. The flooding had left an estimated 600 people dead and 100,000 homeless, the Associated Press reported.
“In spite of the political differences that divide our two countries, we need to do all we can to care for the people of North Korea,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA).
Graham noted the significance of the delivery in that it was the first direct flight from the United States to communist North Korea since the Korean War in 1950. The aid will help thousands of victims affected by the flooding that destroyed homes, power stations, crops and railroads in what is one of the countries most devastating natural disasters.
With support from the BGEA and the United States government, Samaritan’s Purse flew a Boeing 747 cargo jet filled with 75 tons of medicines, medical supplies, temporary shelter materials and other equipment to help aid the flood victims.
“This is much more than an airlift of aid,” said Graham. “It's historic and symbolic not only because the flight went directly from the United States, but also because we've had such good cooperation with the North Korean and U.S. governments. My hope would be that this aid for those suffering can also be a bridge-building opportunity between our two countries.”
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