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S. Korea to expand development assistance to Africa Updated: 2016-05-27 15:36:45 KST

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to the poorest countries in the world with almost half of its inhabitants living in extreme poverty.
Exposed to adverse climate conditions, tropical diseases, and regional conflicts, the area struggles to improve basic livelihood, health, education and job security.
To help meet these needs, Korea has been providing official development assistance, or ODA, through its official aid agency since 1991.
With the Seoul Declaration in 2009, it strengthened support, pledging to double foreign aid to African countries and produced two policy frameworks on development in the region.
Since then, aid to the continent has steadily increased, nearing 120 million U.S. dollars in 2014.

"Our projects focus on agricultural development as well as health care and education. Not only do we set up the infrastructure, but we also empower locals with the confidence that they can beat poverty."

Currently, there are 16 beneficiary countries in Africa, and President Park will be visiting three of them.
Ethiopia is the biggest beneficiary of Korea's ODA, with major projects including water management, health, agriculture, and infrastructure.
Total aid reached more than 88 million dollars as of 2014.
In Uganda, the majority of projects focus on lifting locals out of poverty by increasing agricultural productivity and income.
Over the years, Korean aid has added up to 27 million dollars.
In Kenya, water security, education and governance are the top priorities, and the total amount of aid by 2014 reached almost 40 million dollars.
Experts say Korea's involvement in these countries have been well-received despite the lower amount of ODA compared to those of other developed countries.

"It's not only recipients appreciating but also other donor agencies in Europe and the U.S. Those African countries, especially in the Horn of Africa, they have very similar factor endowment to Korea in the 1960s. So they have very limited resources but plenty of people. We can share Korea's development experience with other countries so they can catch up."

Korea will further its commitment to African development during President Park's trip, unveiling a brand new initiative called Korea Aid.
Oh Soo-young, Arirang News.
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