Emerging Development Donor Profile: South Korea

By Samantha Prior

South Korea is often viewed as a developmental success story; over the last fifty years it has been successfully transitioning from aid recipient to aid donor. In 2010 South Korea became a member of OECD, marking a significant step in its efforts towards becoming a major aid donor. Here are some notable statistics that give a sense of Korea’s evolution from recipient to donor:

Overall growth is stunning:  In the post-war period South Korea was one of the world’s poorest countries with a per capita income of $64, and received large amounts of aid, specifically from the U.S. (12.7 billion between 1945 and the late 1990s, according to the Korean government), to repair its broken economy. The South Korean economy has steadily improved over the last 50+ years (it is currently the world’s 12th largest economy), which enabled it to start giving aid in the end of the 20th century. The Korea Eximbank’s Economic Development and Co-operation Fund (EDCF) was created in 1987, followed by the Korea International Co-operation Agency (KOICA) in 1991.

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The Weekly Round Up

This week in development…

Women in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, preparing food for distribution to undernourished children and their mothers. Photo taken from DFATD|MAECD's flickr photostream used under a creative commons license.

Women in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, preparing food for distribution to undernourished children and their mothers. Photo taken from DFATD|MAECD’s flickr photostream used under a creative commons license.

  • The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation announced on Wednesday that it would donate $50 million to fight Ebola. The money will go to organizations already involved in the emergency response, including certain U.N. agencies, other international organizations, and various West African governments.
  • The pentagon announced it would construct a 25 bed field hospital in Liberia. The U.S. Agency for International Development requested the hospital, and will require a $22 million commitment. There are currently no plans for American personnel to staff the hospital after it is established; Army Colonel Steve Warren said that upon completion of the hospital the Department of Defense will “turn it over to the government of Liberia and then the DoD personnel will depart.”

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