Policy Update

South Korea's 2020 ODA budget prioritizes humanitarian assistance and implementation of new southern and northern policies in Asia

South Korea’s 2020 official development assistance (ODA) budget was approved by the national parliament in December of 2019. The total budget for 2020 will be approximately KRW3.4 billion (equivalent to US$2.9 billion). This is an increase of KRW226.5 billion (US$194 million) compared to 2019. The proportion that will be used for multilateral development assistance has fallen to 19%. 

Asia remains Korea's regional priority, receiving 39.4% of their development assistance allocation. This reflects the commitment of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) to implementing Korea's southern and northern policies, both focused on Asia. KOICA has increased its budget for ODA projects in the Asia Pacific by 32.5% from 2019. EDCF has also announced an increase in budget directed towards the Asian continent, from US$1.4 billion in 2019 to US$2 billion in 2020. 

The budget also includes enhanced provisions for refugees and humanitarian assistance. Korea will contribute US$12 million yearly to international organizations to fund projects combatting sexual violence in conflict as part of the 'action with women and peace initiative'. They have also committed to establishing a formal public-private partnership channel for humanitarian assistance and contributing at least US$50 million to multilateral development cooperation projects in the humanitarian-development-peace nexus between 2019 and 2023. 

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

News article –Yonhap News (in Korean)

News article – Money Today (in Korean)