SEOUL-- The Australian government has cut off its humanitarian aid to North Korea, citing monitoring problems, a U.S. broadcaster reported Tuesday.

In an e-mail on Sunday, the office of the Australian Foreign Ministry's spokespersons said its government took the step after it provided funding for the 2016 nutrition project run by the World Food Programme (WFP) for North Korea for the last time, Voice of America said.

The suspension is attributable to an inability to monitor the distribution of the humanitarian aid in the reclusive country, the office said.

Australia has extended aid to the economically devastated nation via U.N. agencies since 2002.

It financed US$2.3 million to a WFP project to ease malnutrition in North Korean children every year between 2014-2016, the broadcaster said.

The number of countries that have so far contributed to this year's WFP project for the North remains at four, compared with seven a year ago, VOA added. They are Switzerland, Canada, France and Russia.

Source: Yonhap News Agency