KOICA to cooperate with USAID in 11 areas including climate action, digital, and health for peace and prosperity in Indo-Pacific region
- KOICA President Sohn Hyuk-sang and USAID Administrator Samantha Power discussed specific measures for cooperation on Dec. 5 at USAID headquarters in Washington, D.C., in the first meeting between the organizations’ leaders in 8 years
- KOICA to cooperate with USAID until 2025 in 11 areas of development cooperation and 27 tasks, including in implementing 14 joint projects in six areas in developing countries located in the Indo-Pacific region
The development cooperation agencies of the Republic of Korea and the U.S. – KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency) and USAID (United States Agency for International Development), respectively – are set to implement joint projects for sustainable development in developing countries.
KOICA President Sohn Hyuk-sang and USAID Administrator Samantha Power met at USAID headquarters in Washington, D.C. on December 5 (local time) and agreed upon a Work Plan that includes 11 areas and 27 tasks for cooperation between the two organizations, KOICA announced on December 6.
*KOICA-USAID Partnership Work Plan 2023-2025: A work plan that contains the goals and implementation schedule of 27 tasks in 11 areas, to be carried out jointly by KOICA and USAID in developing countries around the world including in the Indo-Pacific region, Africa, Latin America, etc. In the Indo-Pacific region, which encompasses India, Southeast Asia, and Pacific Island Countries, 16 tasks (14 KOICA-USAID joint projects, 2 stakeholder dialogues between civil society and the private sector, etc.) have been set in 6 areas.
The Work Plan has been developed following over 50 consultations among 22 departments and offices in both organizations since February. The final draft has been completed based on the Korea-U.S. MOU on Development Cooperation, signed between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Korea and USAID in September.
The 2023-25 Work Plan, compared to the 2020-2021 Work Plan, significantly expands the scope and regions of cooperation, confirming 27 tasks in 11 areas for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region including Southeast Asia and Pacific Island Countries, Africa, Latin America, etc.
* 11 areas: (1) Climate action and environmental conservation (2) Strengthening the global health security system (3) Education and human resources development (4) Clean and renewable energy (5) Digital economy and security (6) Quality infrastructure (7) Gender equality and strengthening women’s capacity (8) Food security (9) Strengthening governance, human rights, rule of law, and civil society (10) Promoting private sector participation (11) Strengthening evaluation system of development cooperation projects, digitalization
Through the Work Plan, the two organizations seek to jointly respond to the climate crisis, global health security, and food security. It is also noteworthy that the two sides have agreed to create a platform for sharing results and implementing joint projects, to stimulate development cooperation based on Korea’s strengths in the digital economy, and on the two countries’ common values of human rights, rule of law, and civil society, and in the sector of private partnership.
Korea’s first donation to the international community began in 1963 through Triangular Cooperation with USAID. Recently, the two sides have continued in their special and longstanding friendship through cooperation in humanitarian assistance amid COVID-19, among other activities. Established in 1961 to carry out foreign aid of the U.S., USAID implements a budget of $30.9 billion.
* Triangular cooperation: A form of development cooperation in which developing countries participate in supporting other developing countries for social and economic development, as a means to compensate for the shortcomings of unilateral foreign aid projects
President Sohn said, “As we meet the 70th anniversary of the ROK-U.S. alliance in 2023, I am pleased that the development cooperation agencies of our two countries can gather in one place to discuss sustainable and fruitful cooperation as a part of realizing our global comprehensive strategic alliance.” He added, “As cooperation in the field of development cooperation draws more attention in the Korea-U.S. relationship, it is meaningful that the Work Plan we have agreed upon presents solutions to development problems amid complex global crises.”
Administrator Power said, “I welcome this Work Plan as the concretized outcome of the U.S.-Korea development cooperation. I highly note our cooperative activities in the Pacific region in ocean plastic, Asia Open Radio Access, and cyber security.” She added, “As Korea is a model of development among partner countries, we are highly interested in its government capacity building program, and hope that the links and cooperation with USAID will continue to expand.”
Meanwhile, this Work Plan is one of KOICA’s development cooperation implementation plans in line with the Korean government’s new Indo-Pacific strategy announced at the Korea-ASEAN summit in November. President Sohn attended the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Economic Ministers’ Meeting in August to discuss the development strategies of Pacific Island Countries. Through the implementation of the Work Plan, KOICA plans to focus on carrying out development cooperation to support developing countries in the Indo-Pacific region in responding to climate change and disasters.
KOICA President Sohn Hyuk-sang (right) and USAID Administrator Samantha Power meet at USAID headquarters in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 5 to discuss the KOICA-USAID Partnership Work Plan.
KOICA and USAID discuss the KOICA-USAID Partnership Work Plan at USAID headquarters in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 5.
KOICA President Sohn Hyuk-sang (right) and USAID Administrator Samantha Power (far left) meet at USAID headquarters in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 5 to discuss the KOICA-USAID Partnership Work Plan.