At a glance
Strategic priorities
  • The ‘Strategic Plan for International Development Cooperation for 2016-2020’ outlines the current strategic priorities of South Korea’s development policy and indicative volumes of ODA. It specifies that the country will continue to channel around 40% of its ODA in the form of loans.
  • According to the ‘2019 Annual Implementation Plan for Development Cooperation’, funding is expected to focus on five sectors: transport, health, environment, education, and agriculture and fisheries.
  • Overall, South Korea will likely continue to focus its bilateral investments on transport and energy infrastructure in Asia, a large share of which in the form of loans. 11 of its 24 priority countries are in Asia.
  • The ‘2019 Action Plan’ that complements the implementation plan calls for greater synergies between loans and grants, stronger partnership with civil society and international organizations, and increasing investments in priority sectors, including humanitarian assistance.


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  • South Korea is expected to continue increasing its ODA in years to come, and a large part of the anticipated additional funds have yet to be allocated. This provides opportunities to engage with the South Korean government and shape the direction of development policy moving forward.
  • South Korea will host an inaugural international conference on ‘Action with Women and Peace’ in 2019. The goal is to bring together stakeholders from the global development and security community to discuss best policy practices and bring attention to the issue.
  • South Korea expects to host the fifth ‘Busan Global Partnership Forum’ in late 2019. The forum will bring together stakeholders to reinforce commitment to and track progress toward the Busan Principles of development effectiveness that came out of the 2011 ‘Fourth High Level Forum of Aid Effectiveness.’