Sept. 25 (UPI) -- The United Nations Children's Fund delivered nine ambulances and other medical equipment to North Korea.
UNICEF's assistance to North Korea was sent on Sept. 11, and was delivered to North Korea's health ministry, South Korean news services Yonhap and Seoul Pyongyang News reported.
The vehicles were sent to North Korea to raise the chances of survival of newborns, children and their mothers, according to the U.N. organization.
The aid was provided to North Korea after the U.N. Security Council approved the UNICEF request.
The ambulances are to be "used for the referral of emergency obstetric and newborn care as well as non-obstetric emergency cases from the community to county and provincial hospitals which are equipped to manage with quality services in nine convergence counties," UNICEF said in statement.
North Korea is one of the most impoverished countries in the world, but its under-5 child mortality rate has been declining, according to the U.N.'s Levels and Trends in Child Mortality Report 2019. Deaths per 1,000 live births in North Korea were 18 in 2018, down from 43 in 1990.
The medical assistance was delivered to North Korea following a UNICEF visit to Seoul in August.
Henrietta Fore, executive director of UNICEF, met with top South Korean officials and said the group tracks and optimizes aid in North Korea, where officers go door to door to deliver equipment and vaccines and to supply medication and food.
North Korea continues to allocate funds toward weapons development rather than addressing a pending humanitarian crisis within its borders.