- Press Releases
Outcome of 4th ROK-WFP Policy Consultation and Visit to Afghan Refugee Camp in Iran
1. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the World Food Programme (WFP), held the 4th Republic of Korea-World Food Programme policy consultation in Rome on October 26. The ROK and WFP head delegates to the meeting were Director-General for Development Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Oh Hyun-joo and Director of the Government Partnerships Division Chris KAYE, respectively.
2. The policy consultation focused on the ROK-WFP cooperation projects (emergency relief operations, humanitarian assistance, development projects); the progress in humanitarian assistance to developing countries using the ROK’s surplus rice; the current status of the WFP’s humanitarian assistance to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; and ways to expand ROK nationals' presence in the WFP. Amid the deepening global humanitarian crisis, the two sides agreed to further step up strategic cooperation in a way that takes into account the expertise of the WFP and matters of mutual interest.
3. Director-General Oh, in particular, noted with appreciation that the ROK-WFP cooperation projects were moving faithfully forward, including for providing through the WFP, which has expertise in the field of humanitarian assistance, increased food assistance to refugees produced by prolonged conflicts. She went on to suggest that the ROK and the WFP work more closely together during the former’s service on the WFP Executive Board, starting from early 2019.
4. Director Kaye, bringing attention to the fact that the year 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the conclusion of the ROK-WFP Basic Agreement concerning Assistance from the World Food Programme, extended appreciation to the food aid recipient-turned-major donor (No. 12 donor in June 2018) ROK for actively providing assistance for vulnerable people across the world through the WFP. The Director stressed that as a model country that achieved “Zero Hunger,” the ROK was a sending a message of hope to the entire world.
5. Prior to the policy consultation, the ROK delegation visited on October 23 and 24 a refugee settlement camp in Saveh near Tehran, the Islamic Republic of Iran, where the ROK government is contributing through the WFP to “the project designed to improve food security and the level of living of Afghan refugees in Iran.” During the visit, the delegation met with officials of the immigration office of the Iranian Ministry of Interior and those of the refugee settlement camp.
° Director-General Oh reviewed the progress in educational and livelihood support projects conducted on the Shaid Nasseri Afghan refugee settlement camp. She also met with the head of the Iranian immigration office, during which the two sides discussed the progress made to date in the projects conducted with the support of the ROK, and agreed to step up ROK-Iran-WFP cooperation in a way that can help those on the refugee camp become self-reliant.
6. The ROK delegation’s visit to the largest Afghan refugee settlement camp in Iran carried significance in that it demonstrated the ROK’s contribution and attention to the global refugee issue, as well as the fact that by helping Afghan refugees, the ROK and Iran have sought out a new, specific area of cooperation.
* unofficial translation