Global health R&D is not yet a strategic priority; limited funding focuses on vaccine development and typhoid

Research and development for poverty-related and neglected diseases (PRNDs; referred to as ‘global health R&D’ in this profile) is not a focus of South Korea’s development assistance for health. The South Korean government spent US$2.7 million in 2017, according to the 2018 G-FINDER report, produced by Policy Cures. Despite not being a top donor, this funding is significant an increase over the US$550,000 it invested in 2016.

For further details on methodology, see our Donor Tracker Codebook.

In 2017, most funding (US$2 million) went to the Seoul-based International Vaccine Institute (IVI) for a Product Development Partnership (PDP) dedicated to research in vaccine development and delivery for partner countries. The remaining US$723,000 (one-quarter of all R&D funding) went to the Korean Institute of Tuberculosis, a government research institution. These figures may differ from the trend numbers presented in the chart due to changes in the scope of the G-FINDER survey from year to year

In 2019, South Korea plans to increase its support to the IVI and has budgeted KRW6.1 billion (US$5 million) in core funding, and an addition KRW5 billion (US$4 million) in earmarked funding for the establishment of the ‘Research Investment for Global Health Technology’ (RIGHT) Fund. The same level of funding (KRW6.1 billion in core contributions and KRW5 billion for the RIGHT Fund) is planned for 2020.

South Korea’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) takes on the lead role for disease control in South Korea. Within the CDC, the Risk Assessment and International Cooperation Division under the Emergency Operations Bureau manages operations in partner countries.