Policy Updates

Each week, Donor Tracker's team of country-based experts bring you the most important policy and funding news across issue areas in the form of Policy Updates.

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South Korea hosts Korea-Africa Agricultural Conference

June 5, 2024 | South Korea, Agriculture, Nutritious Food Systems, Agricultural R&D | Share this update

On June 5, 2024, the South Korean MAFRA and the RDA hosted the 2024 Korea-Africa Agricultural Conference as an official side event of the 2024 Korea-Africa Summit, held from June 4-5, 2024.

MAFRA Minister Miryung Song expressed her high expectations for Korea’s agricultural cooperation projects including the K-Rice Belt, smart farms, and agricultural processing in her welcoming remarks.

At the opening ceremony, a memorandum of understanding was signed between South Korea and Madagascar, Malawi, Angola, and Zimbabwe to expand participating countries in the K-Rice Belt. K-Rice Belt, launched in 2023, is an ODA program that creates rice seed production complexes in African countries suffering from rice production shortages to produce high-yielding rice seeds and distribute them to farmers.

MAFRA has set a goal of producing 10,000 tons of rice seeds per year by 2027 to feed 30 million people on the African continent. Song highlighted MAFRA's ambitions to bolster agricultural cooperation between South Korea and African countries.

Press release - Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (in Korean)News article - Yonhapnews (in Korean)

South Korea provides humanitarian assistance to Sudan, Ethiopia

April 17, 2024 | South Korea, Agriculture, International development | Share this update

On April 15 and 16, 2024, South Korea announced its plan to provide humanitarian assistance of US$12 million to Sudan and US$7 million to Ethiopia with in-kind rice at the International Humanitarian Conference for Sudan and Neighboring Countries and High-Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Situation in Ethiopia, respectively.

South Korea aims to help Sudan and neighboring countries to overcome the humanitarian crisis spurred by the armed conflict in the region.

The humanitarian assistance to Ethiopia, combined with 13,852 tons of rice in-kind, is aimed to help alleviate food shortages. In particular, South Korea’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has been providing rice to countries in food crises every year through the WFP since its entry into the Food Assistance Convention in 2018.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Korean)Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Korean)News article - Dailyan (in Korean)News article - Dailyan (in Korean)

South Korea elected to WFP, UNICEF executive board

April 12, 2024 | South Korea, Education, Agriculture | Share this update

On April 12, 2024, it was announced that South Korea was elected to the Executive Boards of UNICEF and the WFP for the 2025-2027 term.

The WFP Executive Board provides policy guidance and oversees all activities as the highest decision-making body. South Korea’s third consecutive election to the WFP Executive Board since 2019 reflects its role and contribution to reducing poverty and ending hunger around the world.

South Korea's election to the Executive Board of UNICEF for 2025-2027 marked its tenth consecutive nomination since 1988. The South Korean government will continue to proactively participate in discussions within UNICEF to advance the protection, health, and education of children and adolescents around the world. The government is also slated to further develop the partnership between South Korea and UNICEF.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Korean)Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Korean)News article - Sisafocus (in Korean)

South Korea expands agriculture, forestry, fisheries ODA

November 24, 2023 | South Korea, Agriculture, Agricultural R&D | Share this update

On November 24, 2023, South Korea’s CIDC announced its intention to double ODA to agriculture, forestry, and fisheries by 2030.

This commitment is intended to systematically contribute to overcoming food security crises and other related challenges. South Korea's ODA to agriculture, forestry, and fisheries totaled KRW249.7 billion (US$190 million) in 2021.

South Korea's partner countries have shown an increased interest in agricultural ODA. There has also been growing interest in South Korea’s unique development experience, transforming from a recipient of international food assistance to a net donor country within a relatively short period of time.

South Korea also pledged to expand the scale of food assistance from 50,000 tons of food in 2023 to 100,000 tons in 2024. South Korea also announced its intention to strengthen multilateral cooperation to take a leading role in the agricultural ODA.

News article - Agrinet (in Korean)

South Korea expands agricultural ODA

August 29, 2023 | South Korea, Agriculture | Share this update

On August 28, 2023, a MAFRA minister made a statement detailing the expansion of agricultural ODA to partner countries in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia.

The minister noted that MAFRA's package combines human and material support to improve agricultural income and productivity, as well as transferring agricultural and livestock-related technologies to partner countries. From 2011 to 2022, it implemented 55 agricultural ODA projects in 16 countries.

There are 18 projects slated in 2023 as part of the expansion, including projects in:

  • Laos, totaling KRW7 billion, (US$5 million);
  • Uzbekistan, totaling KRW6 billion (US$5 million);
  • Ghana totaling, KRW10.5 billion (US$8 million); and
  • Kyrgyzstan, totaling KRW4.9 billion (US$4 million).

MAFRA's main initiative is the K-Rice Belt Project, intended address food shortages in Africa. The ultimate goal of this initiative is to improve rural incomes and contribute to poverty reduction through distributing climate adapted rice varietals.

News article - Asiatoday (in Korean)

South Korea expands contributions to food security

May 20, 2023 | South Korea, Agriculture | Share this update

At the G7 summit on May 20, 2023, President Suk-yeol Yoon announced that South Korea will expand its contribution to strengthening global food security.

South Korea announced plans double the amount of its annual humanitarian rice assistance via WFP from 50 million to 100 million tons starting in 2024. Additionally, representatives announed plans to increase contributions to ASEAN+3 Emergency Rice Reserve.

Also, South Korea announced plans to pilot the K-Ricebelt project to produce and distribute unified rice-based multi-yield rice seeds. The plan was developed to provide comprehensive support to agriculture-related industries and infrastructure, from improving irrigation infrastructure to developing resilient seeds.

In addition, the G7 and other invited countries, including Korea, adopted the Hiroshima Action Statement for Resilient Global Health Security. The statement called for international cooperation in responding to urgent food crises and promoting resilient global food security.

Press release - Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (in Korean)News article - Korea (in Korean)

South Korea hosts agricultural ODA innovation forum

March 21, 2023 | South Korea, Agriculture | Share this update

On March 21, 2023, the South Korean RDA held the Agricultural ODA Innovation Forum for Better Agritech and Better Future.

The forum invited stakeholders related to agricultural ODA such as WFP, JIRCAS, CGIAR, and KOICA.

Focusing on adaptation to climate change, the stakeholders discussed innovative agricultural technology to strengthen agricultural ODA cooperation. Cho Chaeho, Administrator of RDA, highlighted the organization's pivotal role in contributing to agricultural productivity and income improvement in partner countries.

News article - Moneytoday (in Korean)News article - Foodicon (in Korean)

South Korea confirms 18.6% increase to 2023 ODA grant budget

January 10, 2023 | South Korea, Agriculture | Share this update

On January 10, 2023, the South Korean MOFA confirmed the 2023 ODA grant budget at the fifth Meeting for Grant Development Cooperation Strategy, the highest-level consultative body that comprehensively coordinates grants and establishes strategies in South Korea.

The confirmed grant budget increased 18.6% from 2022 and totaled KRW2.5 trillion (US$2 billion).

KOICA Korea Eximbank attended the meeting to discuss South Korea’s grant strategy, African ODA Grant Strategy, and Agriculture ODA Grant Strategy. The 2023 Annual Implementation Plan will be finalized in February at the 44th CIDC.

Press release - MOFA (in Korean)News article - News1 (in Korean)

South Korea launches agriculture ODA strategy

January 10, 2023 | South Korea, Agriculture | Share this update

On January 10, 2023, MOFA launched its first agriculture ODA grant strategy.

With the aim of doubling its agriculture ODA to KRW500 billion (US$400 million) by 2027, South Korea announced plans to support specialized ODA projects in the agriculture sector such as smart farming and digital agriculture. South Korea also underlined its support for strengthening cooperation with international organizations to bolster global food security.

The decision was announced by grant-related ministries and agencies to the fifth Meeting for Grant Development Cooperation Strategy.

Press release - MOFA (in Korean)News article - HeraldCorp (in Korean)

South Korea attends joint G20 Finance and Agriculture meeting

October 12, 2022 | South Korea, Agriculture | Share this update

On October 12, 2022, South Korean Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Hwang-keun Chung virtually attended the first joint G20 Finance and Agriculture Ministerial meeting to discuss the global food crisis.
Representatives of the G20 member states, World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) met under the theme of strengthening international cooperation to resolve food crises and malnutrition.
Minister Chung highlighted the need for strengthening cooperation among member states and with international organizations for food security. He also provided detail on novel South Korean initiatives in agriculture ODA, such as smart farms. The minister called on international food organizations to regularly share information on the trade and market of agricultural products to increase transparency and predictability in agricultural markets.

News article - News article – News1 (in Korean) (in Korean)






US$ amounts are cited directly from sources; in the absence of an official conversion, they are calculated using the previous week's average of the US Federal Reserve's daily exchange rates.

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