The Korea International Cooperation Agency was founded as a government agency on April 1, 1991, to maximize the effectiveness of Korea's grant aid programs for developing countries by implementing the government's grant aid and technical cooperation programs.
In the past, development cooperation efforts were focused mainly on meeting the Basic Human Needs(BHNs) of developing countries and on fostering their Human Resources Development(HRD). However, the focus has now broadened to promoting sustainable development, strengthening partnerships with developing partners, and enhancing the local ownership of beneficiaries. Additionally, global concerns such as the environment, poverty reduction, and gender mainstreaming, have gained significant importance in the international community.
Due to the continuously changing trends in development assistance efforts and practices, KOICA is striving to adapt to these changes by using its limited financial resources effectively in areas where Korea has a comparative advantage. In particular, Korea has the unique experience of developing from one of the poorest countries in the world to one of the most economically advanced, as recently demonstrated by Korea’s entry into the OECD/DAC (Development Assistance Committee) on November 25, 2009. The know-how and experience Korea gained from this transition are invaluable assets that allow KOICA to efficiently support the sustainable socio-economic development of its partner countries and to offer them hope for a better world.