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This was a story first reported by North Korean state-run outlet Naenara. A North Korean source spoke to Daily NK: “Comrade Kim Yo Jong ordered the Cabinet to send up a petition [to Kim Jong Un] about the stipend scheme.” On Wednesday it was said: “Things moved forward when Kim gave his approval.”
It’s been cited that Kim Yo-Jong has also been seen giving medicine to new mothers at a hospital in Pyongyang.
The stipend seems to be part of a broader strategy to show her “love of the people.”
The source said: “The stipend scheme is aimed at boosting trust in the socialist healthcare system with a view to encourage people to have more children, while also providing support for young children who, of course, are vulnerable to contagious diseases.”
“Families with children under five years old received KPW 7,500 each.”
The stipend appears to have come in response to growing numbers of North Korean families avoiding having children due to economic difficulties and high child-rearing costs.
The stipend may also be considered a kind of “disaster relief payment” stemming from difficulties due to COVID-19.
The fixed sum of money is quite small when you look at what the South Korean government has provided.
It appears as though their government has given more to families with children than the North Koreans do.
The South Korean government has issued families with childcare coupons worth some KRW 400,000 per child.
The country also provides support to families to pay for childcare services, among other benefits.
Daily North Korea’s source said: “While North Korea’s stipends may be small, they are the first such financial incentives to encourage people to have more children the state has given out in a long time.“
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Adding that: “many households are unhappy that the stipends are so small in value.”
Also that “the stipend is enough to purchase 1.8 kilograms of rice, so it will only help families feed themselves for a couple of days.”
The current situation in Pyongyang, when it comes to prices is that one kilogram of rice costs KPW 4,100 (as of July 1).
Meanwhile, one USD is equivalent to KPW 8,300, which means the value of the stipend is less than one American dollar.
A further issue being highlighted about this ‘fixed sum of money’ is that it has only been given out to a small selection of North Koreans living in urban areas.
The source said: “The stipend was not paid to citizens nationwide.”
Adding, “It was mainly given to people in Pyongyang. In areas outside the capital, only families with both parents working for state-run businesses received it.”
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