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OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews: Korea 2018

image of OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews: Korea 2018

Korea is often cited as a leading example of how sound economic policies can drive growth and development, blazing a trail from poverty to advanced industrialisation throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Building on its reputation as a development success, Korea now plays a highly valued role on the global stage, sharing its knowledge with others and helping to bridge the divide between developing and developed country interests. Among other issues, this review looks at how Korea shares its own impressive development experience with others and how it is dealing with key challenges in co-ordinating grants and loans across government. It also explores how Korea is expanding its aid programme to work on new priorities such as assistance to fragile and crisis-affected countries.

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Financing for development

Korea’s official development assistance (ODA) has increased steadily since it joined the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC), continuing a positive trajectory. However, Korea’s national targets were revised downwards in the recent 2016-20 strategy. While the new targets are arguably more realistic given the recent slowdown in national growth, this diminished level of ambition is affecting Korea’s ability to meet its international commitments. Korea could reinforce its credibility and sustain its progress to date by defining a plan and timeline for increasing its ODA volume over the next decade, while maintaining the quality of its development assistance and untying its aid to the maximum extent possible.

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