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 ‘2020 Annual Implementation Plan for Development Cooperation’, funding is expected to focus on five sectors: transport, health, education, Information Technology (IT) and water hygiene and sanitation (WASH).
  • The 2020 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. 
  • 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.
  • South Korea will better align the mid-term strategy and implementation plan with the government's foreign and national policies and strategies including the New Southern Policy and the New Northern Policy. 
  • South Korea hosted the inaugural international conference on ‘Action with Women and Peace’ in July 2019, bringing together stakeholders from the global development and security community to discuss and develop concrete solutions to issues including sexual violence in conflict. 

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Outlook
  • 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.
  • The South Korean government will develop its third strategic plan covering 2021-2015 during 2020. The publication is expected in late 2020.
  • South Korea will host the second international conference on ‘Action with Women and Peace’ in June or July 2020.