OECD data show decrease in South Korea’s 2020 ODA in volume and as percent of GNI

According to the preliminary data of the 2020 official development assistance (ODA) announced by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC), South Korea’s total ODA was US$2.3 billion and it was 0.14% of the gross national income (GNI), which was a decrease from the previous year by US$210 million and 0.01% respectively.

This information indicates that South Korea failed to meet its target of reaching 0.20% of ODA/GNI by 2020. South Korea’s latest target is to reach 0.30% of ODA/GNI by 2030. South Korea ranked 16th in terms of ODA volume (it was 15th in 2019) and ranked 27th for ODA/GNI among 29 OECD DAC member states.

The decrease could be explained by a drop in bilateral assistance and contributions to regional development banks due to the COVID-19 crisis. In particular, concessional loans decreased by 13% from the previous year, and grant assistance decreased by 0.4%.

South Korea has continued to prioritize Asia, with around 50% of total bilateral assistance being allocated, followed by 23% for Africa and 8% for Latin America. Sector-wise, global health received the most bilateral assistance, accounting for around 42% of total bilateral assistance.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Korean)