- Press Releases
ROK’s ODA Budget for 2019 Set at 3.4922 tln Won
1. Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon presided over the 31st meeting of the Committee for International Development Cooperation at the Government Complex Seoul on June 22.
* The Committee for International Development Cooperation, formed pursuant to the “framework act on international development cooperation” and to deliberate on and fine-tune key policies in the field, is comprised of 25 members, including 17 government officials and 7 civilians.
※ The meeting brought together 4 civilian members and 17 ranking government officials, including a Vice Foreign Minister.
° At the meeting, the Committee deliberated on and finalized a comprehensive plan for international development cooperation for the year 2019, which includes official development assistance (ODA) projects to be conducted in the year; ways to improve the integrated ODA evaluation system; and a plan for using the recommendations made by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in its Peer Review in 2017.
[Comprehensive plan for international development cooperation for the year 2019]
2. The government plan for the year 2019 calls for improving the ODA implementation system in a bid to resolve the previously raised issues -- the lack of comprehensive ODA strategies, the lack of connectivity between loan and grant aid policies, and the fragmented grant aid system. To that end, the government will set strategies for addressing those issues, better fine-tune ODA projects and conduct such projects in a more integrated manner.
° The government will channel its total resources earmarked for supporting developing countries’ efforts to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs) -- \2.2581 tln -- into helping them fulfill SDGs and thereby pave the way for their self-reliance. In a bid to respond to the global humanitarian crisis, the ROK will offer \154.5 bln, -- up \15.4 bln from that in 2018 -- including \46 bln in 50,000 tons of home-grown rice.
3. In order to implement its ODA policy with the consent, support and cooperation of the people and civil society, the government will disclose relevant information more transparently and expand opportunities for people to join in the ODA-related process and communicate on this matter.
° The Committee members agreed to conduct more private-public cooperation projects using technology and capability of the private sector, and to increase the use of the resources for public-private cooperation.
4. According to the plan for the year 2019, the budget for ODA projects has been set at \3.4922 tln, up \444 bln from \3.482 tln for 2018. Forty-two agencies will conduct a combined 1,472 projects in 2019, up from 1,312 in 2018.
* \93.9 bln out of the budget will be injected into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ humanitarian assistance projects in the form of emergency relief operations; \55.57 bln into the Ministry of Strategy and Finance’s project to help Egypt purchase trains for a Cairo subway system; and \42 bln into the Ministry of Education’s Global Korea Scholarship program, etc.
° In particular, the greater part of the ODA budget will be used to render assistance in the sectors the ROK is relatively competitive in, such as transportation (14.4%), healthcare (12.6%) and education (10.2%), as well as to such regions as Asia (39%) and Africa (20.6%).
[Ways to improve the integrated ODA evaluation system]
5. The government deliberated and decided to improve the ODA evaluation system in a way that will help to evaluate its ODA projects and use evaluation results more effectively.
° The Committee decided to draw up ODA evaluation guidelines containing relevant strategies and directions; to use various evaluation methodologies; to revamp the criteria and barometers for selecting projects; and thereby to enhance the credibility and reasonability of the ODA evaluation system.
° Also, outside experts will obligatorily be invited to take part in the evaluation process in order to ensure its objectivity; and the evaluation results will be disclosed to ensure the transparency of the ODA and its evaluation systems.
[Plan to use OECD Peer Review recommendations]
6. In its 2017 Peer Review on the ROK, the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) commended the country for its ODA-related efforts made over the past five years and recommended it to take twelve steps to improve its ODA system.
° The government finalized follow-up tasks for using the twelve recommendations in implementing its ODA policy, as well as a task execution plan; and will continue monitoring the progress in the implementation of those tasks.
* unofficial translation