Korea Unveils 5-Year Aid Spending Plan

Lee Myung-bak, president of South Korea, briefs reporters on the outcome of the G-20 London summit. The South Korean government has adopted a five-year official development assistance plan, which proposes an increase in the country's humanitarian relief budget and funding for development projects executed by non-governmental and private sector entities. Photo by: Goverment of South Korea

The South Korean government has adopted a five-year official development assistance plan that includes increasing the country’s humanitarian aid budget and allocation for development projects impemented by non-governmental organizations and other private sector actors.

Based on the plan, South Korea will allocate 6 percent of its total foreign aid budget over the next five years to humanitarian and relief projects, up from the current allocation of 1 percent, The Korea Herald Reports. The plan also plots an increase in the budget for NGO-implemented projects from the current 9 billion won (USD7.7 million) to 90 billion won by 2015.

The plan identifies green growth, climate change and sustainable growth as priority sectors for South Korean “paid cooperation,” the Korea Herald says. Meanwhile, “free cooperation” will be provided primarily as economic support to help developing countries achieve the U.N. Millennium Development Goals.

Bulk of South Korea’s official development assistance, both paid and free, will be spent in Asia, followed by Africa and Latin America.

The ODA plan was confirmed by an international development cooperation committee headed by Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik. In addition to the spending plan, the committee also introduced a proposal to incorporate aspects of Korea’s current rural development scheme in the country’s engagement with developing countries, Korea JoongAng Daily reports.

The Saemaul Movement package will be customized as support for livestock-farming or support for agriculture according to the situations of each developing nation,” the paper quotes an official from Kim’s office as saying. “It will also be augmented by measures to increase incomes, medical support and to improve literacy before being introduced as pilot Saemaul Movement projects in recipient countries.”

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  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.