S. Korea’s ODA budget set at record high of 6.3 tln won in 2024

The government set this year's budget for official development assistance (ODA) at a record high of 6.3 trillion won (US$4.7 billion) Thursday in line with efforts to take full responsibility and play a leading role as a global leader. The decision was made during a meeting of the government committee on official development assistance presided over by Prime Minister Han Duck-soo. This year's budget represents a 31.1 percent increase from the previous year. "The Yoon Suk Yeol administration has actively led the agenda in the face of global complex crises, taking a proactive approach to addressing global issues," Han was quoted by his office as saying. Of the total, 17.5 percent of the budget is earmarked for humanitarian crisis response projects in countries affected by war and disasters, the office said. Approximately 15.1 percent is allocated to traffic-related assistance, such as building railroads, and another 9 percent is allocated to health care assistance. The budget will be divided among 1,976 OD A projects and will be implemented through 47 agencies. South Korea has gradually increased its ODA budget since joining the Development Assistance Committee, an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development organization tasked with coordinating aid policy for developing countries, in 2010. Nonetheless, South Korea still ranked 16th among the 30 member states in terms of the size of its ODA budget in 2022. The government expects the ratio of the ODA budget to the country's per capita gross national income to significantly increase after the execution of this year's budget. Source: Yonhap News Agency