Responding to water scarcity in Kenya
Turkana county of Kenya has been severely impacted by climate change-driven extreme drought. KOICA therefore sought solutions to the water shortage by interweaving four ODA projects being carried out in Turkana. Our sustainable and effective solutions are introduced in this article. Climate crisis threatens livelihood and survival in Kenya Located in East Africa and facing the Indian Ocean, Kenya resembles the shape of a rhinoceros horn and has hence been nicknamed the Horn of Africa. Most people earn a living from agriculture and stock farming. Affected by hyperthermal conditions, dryness, and swarms of locusts brought on by the climate crisis, however, the region has experienced unprecedented drought and famine in the past few years. Insufficient water supplies for drinking water, agriculture, and stock farming have led to a 70% decrease in crop harvest, driving the Kenyan government to declare a national emergency in September 2021. Being the driest and lowest-income county in Kenya, Turkana sees the drought and resulting water and food shortages and grassland destruction as threats not only to the livelihood of its people but also their survival. Extreme water shortages, alongside 60-70% reductions in annual precipitation and the drying of 90% of surface water are threatening food security. They are also creating a multitude of socioeconomic problems such as competition for grassland, struggles to secure water sources for survival, exacerbated female labor for water supply procurement, and increases in diseases attributable to clean water and food shortages. What is more, Turkana is home to the Kakuma and Kalobeyei settlements for refugees from neighboring countries such as Somalia. The water shortage has aggravated competition between locals and refugees, hence triggering disputes. KOICA thus sought to support Turkana in weathering these immediate challenges through the building of capabilities and resilience in response to the uncontrollable climate crisis and extreme drought. In this regard, KOICA interweaved the four ODA projects it had been carrying out for integrated solutions. The four projects are: the drinking water and sanitation improvement project to empower the Kenyan county of Turkana to respond to climate change (2019-2023), the Turkana community sanitary environment improvement project in Kenya (2021-2022), the integrated drought response capacity building project for refugees and displaced people in the Kalobeyei settlement (2022-2024), and the community-based integrated project for humanitarian support and development by UNHCR Kenya (2020-2023). Scraping up groundwater to address the most urgent problem: water shortage The most urgent and imminent challenge brought by the extreme drought was inaccessibility to clean water. KOICA, in partnership with UNICEF, launched the drinking water and sanitation improvement project to empower the Kenyan county of Turkana to respond to climate change in 2019. Loima and Central Turkana were selected as the project sites, which were the least developed farm villages struggling with extreme malnu-trition and little access to drinking water and supplies. KOICA turned its attention to groundwater, as it is relatively less influenced by climate change than surface water. Kenya undergoes rainy and dry seasons over the year, and the rains of the wet seasons are heavy enough to form seasonal rivers and cause floods. However, the country s sandy soil cannot hold sufficient amounts of water, leading to groundwater quickly drying out. KOICA aimed to prevent the loss of groundwater by installing sand dams and underground dams in water courses and seasonal rivers and make groundwater available all year around, by building an artificial research facility to hold the groundwater. Ten sand dams will have been built by the end of 2022. The project is on track with a progress rate of over 90%. When completed, groundwater collected during the rainy season will be ready for use in the dry season for many purposes, resolving the water shortage to some degree. The groundwater pump facilities (wells) have also been refurbished. In most areas, solar-powered pumps that run without grid connections, rather than manual-operated pumps, have been installed. The solar-powered pumps are a good fit for the project areas that feature an ample amount of sunshine, and they allow for supplying water to distant areas through pipelines. The eco-friendly power source is free from energy depletion issues and environmental pollution caused by greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, solar-powered sensors warn the users of system operation and failure, hence an advantage in maintenance. These are important merits that contribute to the sustainability of the facilities. Thanks to these facilities, the locals who had to spend six hours daily drawing water from the river now have access to clean water in an hour. The water supply facilities are managed by the water resource users committee, a water resource governance body in Turkana s farming areas, and each household pays 100 Kenyan shillings (~ 1 USD) monthly for facility maintenance and repairs. From this project, I learned about the importance of taking an integrated approach to health, nutrition, education, livelihood, and many other areas. said Wangui Njoroge, a Senior Coordinator at the KOICA Kenya Office. This project has improved people s accessibility to water, and this in turn has led to significant improvements in their lives, including increases in school attendance, better health, reductions in malnutrition, and increased income. Building toilets to reduce the polluting of water sources caused by open defecation The project was coupled with the Turkana community sanitary environment improvement project in Kenya lauched in 2021, which considered the sanitary environment, the close interconnection between water resources and sanitation, and strong demands from the county government. Having no toilets, people had often defecated in the river or stream, causing pollution of water sources. This in turn cased locals to be exposed to waterborne pathogens such as typhoid and suffer from stomachache or diarrhea. Even worse, children and women were exposed to various threats in the process. With this project, KOICA aimed to improve basic sanitary environments in the area, for example through toilets and hand washing facilities and the offering of sanitary education to tackle waterborne infections. The project was executed by international aid and development NGO Team & Team. First of all, project managers focused on sanitary education for the residents to reduce open defecation and improve the health environment in Turkana. For this purpose, they visited 380 homes in Lokore in 2021 and 990 homes in Lolupe in 2022. The project managers took a community-led total sanitation (CLTS) approach to help locals understand that open defecation was a serious problem and support locals in building sanitary facilities on their own. This led to 991 toilets being built 283 in 2021 and 708 in 2022. To ensure continued and organized sanitary education, KOICA designated a community health volunteer (CHV) for each village. The agency also organized CLTS facilitator training. To date, 23 expert facilitators and 63 community facilitators have taken this training 10 and 13 expert facilitators in 2021, and 20 and 43 community facilitators in 2022, respectively. Climate-smart agriculture and grassland restoration for greater resilience The integrated drought response capacity building project for refugees and displaced people in the Kalobeyei settlement started in 2022. The key objective of this project is to build on refugees and displaced people s resilience to the chronic disaster of drought. More concretely, it aims to improve accessibility to water in the refugee settlement and ensure food security for the refugees and locals with climate-smart agriculture and stock farming in connection with other projects ongoing in Turkana. The project operator, World Vision, is conducting project activities in Kalobeyei (including Refugee Settlement Village 3). KOICA and World Vision are working together to install four standard stand pipes in Refugee Settlement Village 3. Work is ongoing to install a multipurpose water tank (10,000 liters), a kiosk, and a solar pump in the village for the displaced. The project also involves building or refurbishing three reservoirs for long-term storage of rainwater collected from seasonal rivers during the rainy season. Each reservoir will cater to 1,200 house-holds and 9,000 heads of cattle and will include auxiliary facilities such as water stands for cattle and multipurpose water points. Each village will also organize a water resource management committee to ensure the proper management of these facilities. In addition, the committees will be offered regular training on operation and management. Agricultural and stock farming education for adaptation to drought and climate change also forms part of the project. Soil improvement courses to prevent land devastation and agricultural water preservation courses are offered to 320 refugees and local residents. The courses also cover harvest management and stock management such as chickens and goats. Four course series will be organized annually, and the course takers will be eligible for in-kind support such as drought-resistant seeds, farming tools, and domestic animals. Efforts are underway to restore grassland devastated by drought and create new grassland. The availability of grassland to feed animals is indispensable for stock farming. Bracing for extreme drought, World Vision planted Buffel grass, a dryland plant that sprouts with only a small amount of water. The locals also organized a natural resource management committee to manage and maintain the environment built with their own hands. As an official government-registered organization, the committee will continue playing its roles even after the project. Aidah Mtende, a project participant, said, Refugees and locals are facing the common enemy, drought. What really empowers us amidst this challenge is the fact that the whole world is working together to adapt and respond to climate change. Meanwhile, KOICA launched the community-based integrated project for humanitarian support and development by UNHCR Kenya in 2020 as part of its efforts to ease tension between the refugees and displaced people (natives) and maintain peace in Turkana. For peaceful coexistence between the two communities, the project operator UNHCR is conducting multifaceted activities including the improvement of healthcare service accessibility for locals and the prevention of gender-based violence. Success of the integrated approach in tackling water shortage and building cooperative systems Together, these four individual projects encompass a range of issues in Turkana including water resources, health and sanitation, response to climate change, and coexistence between refugees and locals. KOICA s integrated approach has already produced significant outcomes. First of all, the drinking water and sanitation improvement project to empower Turkana and respond to climate change aims to build 76 wells (water supply facilities), 52 solar-powered pumps, and 10 sand dams. By the end of the project in December 2022, 148,098 people will benefit from these facilities. Most notably, the number of school attendees increased from 97 in 2017 to 394 in 2020 as children no longer needed to travel far to draw water. Taking the CLTS approach, the Turkana community sanitary environment improvement project in Kenya resulted in 1,370 toilets built and the proportion of households using toilets surged from 7.3% to 42%. In addition, 1,734 residents have received physiology and sanitary management education 518 people in 2021 and 1,216 people in 2022. The integrated drought response capacity building project for refugees and displaced people in the Kalobeyei settlement will benefit more than 36,000 people. So far, 320 people (160 refugees and 160 displaced persons) have received climate-smart agriculture and stock farming education. Throughout the project, 30 acres (approximately 123,000 m²) of grassland will be restored, 10 acres per year. What speaks louder than these statistics from the projects is change brought to the daily lives of the locals. Drinking water supply and sanitary education contributed to a reduction in waterborne diseases, and improved sanitary environment led to higher qualities of life. Children who used to spend more than six hours drawing water from the river returned to school, and no longer suffer from diarrhea. People are healthier, and so are animals. Recognizing these outcomes, UNICEF decided to apply these projects to Samburu County and other areas. Another important aspect is that a cooperative system to integrate and interconnect projects of similar nature or with similar objectives has been established in this area. Team & Team and World Vision recognized each other s expertise in drinking water development and built a positive partnership to organize regular meetings and conduct joint project site monitoring. In June, KOICA, Team & Team, and World Vision had a meeting to discuss preliminary consultation for the projects, joint project site monitoring, agency-specific project site visits and progress checking, post-project consultation for future project management, and cooperation for new project development, hence identifying opportunities for the development of the entire county. The health commissioner of Kakuma Town who was present at this meeting said, I highly appreciate the major accomplishments of the projects pursued by KOICA. I look forward to continued cooperation and stronger support to benefit more residents. Moving forward from interweaving its own projects, KOICA plans to closely work with other donor agencies to further expand the water supply and management systems in Turkana. The agency is already discussing cooperation with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the development of new projects in 2024. The two agencies have exchanged official notes to confirm JICA s expert engagement and the pros-pect of potential joint projects. Amid the ever-worsening climate crisis, joint efforts may not be able to offer absolute solutions. They do, however, offer significant breakthroughs for people whose lives are at stake in the turmoil of the unprecedented climate crisis. KOICA will continue to closely cooperate with international organizations, private partners that are experts in their respective fields, and other donor organizations to actively respond to the global crisis.
Tailoring education for people with hearing impairments
According to the World Federation of the Deaf, there are 70 million people with hearing impairments globally, and more than 80% of them live in developing countries. In the West Asian country of Jordan, 13% of the population, or 1.1 million people, live with disabilities, and 8.4% have hearing impairments. The lack of financing and infrastructure can hinder people with disabilities in accessing proper education. Accordingly, KO-ICA launched a project to build a school for students with hearing impairments in Jordan to support their growth and autonomy by through the provision of adequate education. Specialized educational environment required for people with disabilities People with hearing impairments who receive the necessary education in early years develop communication skills using methods to express thoughts through lip movements and facial expressions or sign language. Students with hearing impairments in Jordan had been in need of such special education and tools. Upon stipulating in its constitution that all citizens have the right to education, the government of Jordan began providing special education in the 1960s. At the same time, there remained room for enhancement regarding awareness on disabilities and government support. Insufficient finances and the fact that most special schools for students with hearing impairments leased spaces in expensive private-owned buildings meant that fewer resources could be directed to enhancing the educational environment. Initially, there were 13 special schools for students with hearing impairments in Jordan, teaching 800 students. The curriculum also needed to be adapted to students needs. The schools had no in-house audiology experts to provide precise diagnoses, and teachers were not professionally trained at length in education for people with disabilities, receiving 2-3 months of sign language training before being put into the field. While school curriculums included both sign language and oral method, it was difficult to provide systematic, well-structured education specialized for students with hearing impairments. Meanwhile, those unable to enter specialized schools attended regular schools and took classes with students without disabilities without the support of any additional equipment or facilities. Students with hearing impairments were thus exposed to disadvantages in learning compared to fellow students. As a result, they often faced obstacles in finding quality jobs after graduation. Building a special school tailored to students with hearing impairments Through this project, KOICA aimed to provide students with hearing impairments with a quality learning environment tailored to their needs and improve the quality of special education by supporting capacity-building of hearing impairment experts. A pre-project survey of the special education sector in Jordan revealed a prominent problem: the lack of curricula and environments built in consideration of the characteristics of students with hearing impairments. Thus, KOICA planned this project to build a special school for students with hearing impairments in the municipality of Marka near Jordan s capital city Amman. The Marka School for Hearing Impaired Students accommodates 430 students with hearing impairments from kindergarten to lower secondary levels. Being true to its role to cater for students with disabilities, it has special rooms including a hearing test room, an auditory training room, and a language training room. A disability diagnostic test program was developed to provide precise diagnosis on hearing impairments. To maximize the effectiveness of the education, 14 types of auditory training material for students with different types and degrees of hearing impairment, 33 types of educational material, 99 furniture items, and two buses were offered. Efforts were also made to support the capacity-building of special education teachers. KOICA dispatched a leading special education expert from Korea to Jordan to develop teaching materials and a curriculum for students with hearing impairments in the local language. To help Jordanian teachers maximize their capacities, a local training program covering 21 topics in four areas including education for the hearing impaired and special education techniques was organized for officials of the Ministry of Education and special teachers for students with hearing impairments. Some 245 teachers participated to gain skills in providing proper education and develop teaching materials for special needs students. KOICA signs MOU with the Higher Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for continued follow-up measures After the completion of this project, KOICA signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Higher Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for follow-up management, which aims to ensure continued provision of quality education. Under the MOU, the agency plans to conduct basic research on education for students with hearing impairments and build on the foundations for sign language education in Jordan. Such efforts will enable the provision of unified materials and guidelines to all schools for students with hearing impairments in Jordan. As part of endeavors for follow-up management, seven experts in special education and hearing impairment from Korea visited Jordan to lead a local training session for 65 special needs teachers. The topics covered included the proper use of specialized devices for the hearing impaired, utilizing teaching material, and sign language teaching capability building. Also, parents of children with hearing impairments were offered a session to discuss challenges they face in raising children with disabilities and explore solutions together. The training session and parents meeting were attended by 100 elementary and secondary teachers and parents of children with disabilities to deepen their understanding of hearing impairments and polish their skills in teaching, supporting, and guiding. Improving the lives of people with disabilities through quality education This project had great significance in that Korea s advanced special education system was transferred to Jordan, thereby supporting the development of special education and improving the quality of the lives of people with disabilities in Jordan. In particular, building a decent special school for students with hearing impairments in Marka contributed to improving Jordan s special education environment and the quality of special education. Indeed, 1,067 students have benefited from the special education since 2017. Currently the Marka School for Hearing Impaired Students has 50 teachers teaching 166 students. The school is recognized for its cutting-edge facilities and advanced curriculum not only in Jordan but also all across the region. Providing special education to students with hearing impairments through this project will also greatly contribute to improving the quality of the lives of people with disabilities. Upon receiving adequate and relevant education during schoolyears, people with disabilities actively participate in society and economic activities. The Marka School for Hearing Impaired Students will also serve as an exemplary model for special schools for students with hearing impairments in Jordan. The dissemination of this model will contribute to spreading Korea s special education curriculum and to better understanding the needs of people with disabilities in Jordan. KOICA will continue putting forth efforts to improve people s awareness on disabilities and enhance environments for people with disabilities in developing countries.
AFoCO as an important partner of KOICA in forestry
As various efforts are being undertaken around the world to protect forests, in May, KOICA signed an agreement with the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO), a treaty-based intergovernmental organization, to strengthen cooperation for the protection of forests in Asia. We met with Vice Executive Director of AfoCO Jin Sunpil to discuss the organization s ongoing programs and projects as well as its future plans. Q. Could you briefly introduce the role and responsibility of the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO)? AFoCO was officially established in April of 2018 as a treaty-based intergovernmental organization. Its establishment was led by Korea and undertaken as an extension of the 2011 Korea-ASEAN forest cooperation agreement. With countries in Asia, we share the will to create field-oriented solutions regarding global issues such as climate change, biodiversity, forest disasters including forest fires, livelihoods of mountain villagers, and sustainable forest management. Q. As an international organization in the forestry sector representing the Asian region, AFoCO has been conducting various ODA projects in each country. Please tell us about a few of the most remarkable achievements that have been made thus far. Some of our most significant achievements include the project to build a proliferation center for rosewood around Siem Reap, Cambodia and the project to restore mangrove in the Thai Binh province of Vietnam. The project to build a proliferation center for rosewood is significant in that it seeks to transfer technology to produce superb seeds and seedlings of the Cambodia rosewood, an endangered species, and foster experts. The mangrove restoration project in Vietnam not only creates mangrove forests with excellent carbon absorption, but also provides technical guidelines for preserving existing forests and regenerating mangroves. The Vietnam Administration of Forest (VNFOREST) recognizes the value created from this project and the resulting technical guidelines which can be applied to other parts of Vietnam. Q. Deforestation and environmental issues around the world are growing increasingly severe. In your opinion, how serious are the current deforestation and environmental issues in Asia? Southeast Asia is home to about half of the world's tropical forests, storing vast amounts of carbon, and many species found nowhere else on Earth. However, we are witnessing a trend of converting forests to agricultural land at an unprecedented rate; during the past decade, in particular, we have seen notable forest loss in countries including Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos. The combined effects of deforestation and climate change present a worst-case scenario. Deforestation in the upper regions not only increases the risk of landslides and floods in low-lying areas but also reduces crop yields as the function of green dams deteriorates. In addition, an increase in the number of dry days due to climate change causes large-scale forest fires, driving the spread of pests and diseases, as well as desertification. Q. AFoCO was approved as an international organization eligible to implement ODA (Official Development Assistance) by the OECD DAC (Development Assistance Committee) in March 2021. AfoCO also joined the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, held in November this year, as an observer. Could you explain these processes and any meaningful discussions held at this year s COP28, in relation to AfoCO s future plans?In March 2021, at the OECD DAC Development Finance Statistics Working Group (WP-STAT) meeting, the proposal to recognize the AFoCO as an organization eligible to implement ODA was unanimously approved, which means all contributions from the AFoCO are now recognized as part of the ODA budget. For about a year, the AFoCO Secretariat, working with the Korean government, has engaged in active discussions with OECD DAC member countries. AFoCO becoming an official development assistance organization is expected to make it easier to pursue efforts to strengthen cooperation with donor countries and other organizations and to secure financial resources.In addition, AFoCO participated in COP27 as an observer as of this year to hold various discussions on the agenda of the international community and to build various networks. The main agenda of COP27 was compensation for loss and damage, and an agreement was reached to gather a fund to support countries vulnerable to climate disasters. As for the forestry sector, the launch of a Forest and Climate Leaders Partnership and the Green Gigaton Challenge drew significant attention. In addition, other meaningful discussions were held on various subjects covering aging forests, peatlands, mangroves, and indigenous rights.AFoCO is preparing a new program that connects the demands of member countries in the field of climate change with global climate finance and ESG activities of private companies. The key focus will be response to damage caused by climate change and forest carbon projects. In addition, we are planning to fully implement a program to restore drylands in Asia (LPA, Landscape Partnership Asia), launched in May. Q. What are some of the key ODA projects that AFoCO is implementing to achieve the UN Strategic Plan for Forests (2030)? The first goal of the UN Strategic Plan for Forests (2030) is to increase forest area by 3% worldwide by 2030. Forest restoration is also a top priority for AFoCO. In particular, we are focusing on restoring forests in ecologically important areas including mangrove forests and areas damaged by large-scale forest fires. Such activities are closely related to supporting the livelihood of local residents and strengthening local governance capacities, which we are carrying out alongside forest restoration. The key is to create a sustainable and resilient forest ecosystem and mountain villages. Q. Korea is the only country that has succeeded in reforestation during the early phase of national development. Many developing countries may be interested in Korea's experience in afforestation and its accumulation of technological knowledge. How are Korea's success stories being utilized and shared among Asian countries?Korea's success stories indeed contributed to successfully establishing AFoCO and to convincing member countries. High-level government officials from developing countries who have recently visited Korea to experience Korea s reforestation facilities have proposed cooperation projects in various fields, including not only forest greening but also forest fire prevention, and forest recreation. In many developing countries, forestry projects fall behind other national policy priorities, making it difficult to secure a sizeable budget. Accordingly, through ODA projects, AFoCO is supporting developing countries in the field of forestry through projects to foster field experts, with a particular emphasis on sharing Korea s experience and technology. Q. Could you tell us how joint response and cooperation are being implemented among Asian countries in tackling the problem of deforestation in Asia?At AfoCO, we implement regional projects, through which countries with similar conditions or interests can work together from the early stages of a project. In the case of the project for local residents to manage forests using GIS/RS, implemented for 5 years from 2015, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand implemented the project in each country while also sharing cases and finding room for improvement together, thus developing the project. The forest fire management system establishment project, which is being jointly carried out by Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Laos since 2022, will be implemented as a cooperation project that reflects the common geological features of the Mekong region (topography, forest fire causes, forest fire extinguishing organization, etc.) and characteristics that are unique to each country. In addition, the AFoCO holds an Annual thematic Dialogue forum every October to hold in-depth discussions on Asian forest cooperation with sector experts and professionals. In addition, a biennial ministerial-level meeting is held to develop joint response measures to address forestry issues in the Asia region. Q. We hear more and more about discussions emphasizing the diversification of finances in responding to climate change. Could you tell us about the AFoCO Green Partnership program which is based on cooperation with the private sector?The AFoCO Green Partnership is a private sector cooperation platform in which various entities, including businesses, participate to contribute to the implementation and achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals as well as a number of international climate agreements. It aims to diversify finances through private investment and blended finance, and to better connect the needs of member countries with the demands of businesses. Q. In May, an agreement-signing ceremony was held between AFoCO and KOICA. What kind of synergy do you expect from combining AFoCO's expertise in forestry and environment and KOICA's experience in development cooperation? We are well aware that KOICA has been working hard to expand the scale of ODA projects and create synergy by collaborating with various domestic and foreign partners in the field of climate change. One of the strengths of AFoCO is that it is able to apply expertise in the forestry sector and technologies for sustainable forest management and climate change response that have been proven in their effectiveness in a field-oriented way. If KOICA seeks to join international efforts and prioritize issues surrounding the forestry sector, AFoCO, whose secretariat office is located in Korea, can be an instrumental partner in achieving these goals.In addition, as an international organization, AFoCO is in partnership with not only member countries, but also leading forestry sector organizations within the international community, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and we hope that these partnerships can create opportunities for us to participate in additional relevant international programs. Lastly, the development plans envisioned by AFoCO, such as the expansion of private sector cooperation, blended finances, and voluntary carbon market access, are expected to contribute to the implementation of KOICA's future strategy and the achievement of Korea's net zero goal. Q. We are reaching the end of 2022. Could you tell us about AFoCO's future direction and plans for major projects that will be implemented in 2023?In September, AFoCO became a partner of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. One of the major plans is to operate a forest restoration project in full swing in 2023 along with the LPA (dry land restoration) program launched in May. Southeast Asian mangroves, central Asian drylands, and areas vulnerable to forest fires are targets of priority. We also plan to make the year 2023 the first year that forest carbon projects (REDD+1), etc.) can be backed by private companies. To do so, AFoCO will serve as a platform for forest carbon businesses while seeking ways to reduce corporate risk. The third goal is to launch a forest fire response system using ICT. In addition to the ASEAN Korea Cooperation Fund project launched in 2022, preparation for the Korea-Mekong cooperation project (ICT-based forest disaster management) and FAO's AFFIRM (Integrated Forest Risk Management) project are in progress. The fourth goal is the NTFP (Non-timber Forest Products) project in which all member countries participate. We will discover and implement projects in connection with local forestry, and plan to jointly analyze each country's institutional conditions and market demand.1) Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Plus refers to various projects implemented in developing countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by deforestation and deforestation.
Latest issues at a glance KOICA NEWS
KOICA s efforts to carry out various international development and cooperation projects for the mutual prosperity of the international community continued in February. In the Philippines, the Nutrition Improvement Project for the first 1000 Days in Life was successfully completed and contributed to improving the health and nutrition of mothers and babies. In Senegal, KOICA contributed to updating the parliamentary system to support the country s journey in democratization. In addition, a project was launched for the social and economic resilience of Sri Lanka by 2025 in the country s Central and Uva Provinces, which are suffering from the impacts of prolonged COVID-19. NEWS 1. Health and happiness of mothers and children in the PhilippinesOn December 7, 2022, KOICA held a briefing session at the Korean Embassy in the Philippines on the completion of the Nutrition Improvement Project for the First 1000 Days in Life in the Philippines , which had been conducted with UNICEF since 2018. Prior to the project, despite expansion in government spending in the health sector, progress in improving nutrition and health indicators had stalled, with more than 50% of infant deaths caused by malnutrition. In response, KOICA along with UNICEF and the Ministry of Health of the Philippines together brought forth significant results by supporting the (a) development of policies related to nutrition for the first 1000 days of life by the national and local governments, and the enhancement of Nutrition Service Delivery Capabilities, and (b) family, women, and infant health-related behavioral change program for mothers and infants in project areas including Samal. About 80 key stakeholders, including Lee Kyoo-ho, Consul General of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines, Azucena Dayanghirang, Assistant Secretary of the Philippine Ministry of Health, and Behzad Noubary, Vice Representative of UNICEF, attended the completion briefing session in which participants shared the progress and major achievements of the past five years. NEWS 2. Increasing political transparency in Senegal and lowering disease infection ratesKOICA signed a Record of Discussion (RD) with the Senegalese government at the Dakar National Assembly on February 2 for the Modernization Project of the National Assembly s Legislative Activity System and the Public Health Laboratory Capacity Enhancement Project . The project for the modernization of the parliamentary activity system is aimed at strengthening the efficiency and political transparency of the National Assembly by modernizing the outdated equipment and internal systems of the Senegalese National Assembly. This project is expected to increase the people s access to parliament-related information, and enhance ties between Senegal and the Republic of Korea, in addition to those with neighboring African countries, in the mid- to long- term. The Public Health Laboratory Capacity Enhancement Project aims to establish an effective infectious disease response system by strengthening Senegal s national public health laboratory capacity and level of national health security.This project will contribute to improving various problems that threaten Senegal s health security and strengthening public health capabilities in line with global standards.KOICA is actively supporting Senegal s national development plan and its plan to transition to a middle-income country by 2035, through continuous cooperation in four areas: agriculture, health, education, and governance. This project to modernize the parliamentary activity system of the National Assembly and strengthen the capacity of public health laboratories correspond to the agency s support in the governance and health sectors, respectively. NEWS 3. Project to restore Sri Lanka s COVID-19-affected areas launchedKOICA held a briefing session on the launch of the Social and Economic Resilience Enhancement Project for COVID-19-affected communities in Central Province and Uva Province at the UN Compound in Colombo on January 30. The two targeted provinces in Sri Lanka have been affected by the prolonged COVID-19 outbreak, residents deteriorated access to clean water, pollution of the surrounding environment, and economic stagnation. KOICA plans to provide support of $6 million by 2025 to build infrastructure that enables local residents to obtain sustainable access to clean water and carry out various support projects, such as those to strengthen agricultural capabilities to increase farmers income. Officials from related organizations attended the launch briefing session, including Country Director Kim Myung-jin of the KOICA Sri Lanka office, and Rohitha Uduwawala, assistant secretary of the Ministry of Public Administration and Security of Sri Lanka.
[Indonesian AID] Environment and climate initiatives and strategies
Climate change has an extensive impact on people s lives because it affects the quality and quantity of water, habitats, forests, health, agricultural land, and coastal ecosystems.As an archipelagic country, Indonesia is prone to the impact of climate change. Indonesia has taken some actions to tackle environmental and climate issues at the national and international levels. According to the European Commission s JRC Science for Policy Report titled CO2 emissions of all world countries , Indonesia is acknowledged as a country that has successfully reduced its emissions in 2021 compared to 2019. Indonesia had lower emissions during the global pandemic and has successfully managed to prevent any substantial haze-causing fires over the three years of the pandemic (2020-2022).Indonesia is committed to supporting collective efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target on climate change. One of the implementations of the commitment is through the provision of grants, which includes technical assistance or capacity building.In 2023, Indonesian AID will provide grants on capacity building for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation for the member countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Central American Integration System (SICA). This capacity building is conducted by a State Technology Institute based on Indonesia s experience dealing with disaster and climate change. Indonesian AID will also provide grants for fisheries training for several countries in the Pacific region as an effort to increase capacity in fisheries management, which is expected to be a part of climate change effect reduction on fisheries. Meanwhile, as part of the reduction of the use of fossil energy, Indonesian AID, with other stakeholders in Indonesia, is planning to introduce the use of renewable energy to other regions, such as the Pacific and Africa regions. This introduction is based on Indonesian experience and will be conducted in the form of capacity building and the development of renewable energy infrastructures such as solar power and micro hydropower.In addition, as part of creating an environmental life, Indonesian AID, in preparing and designing a project, especially related to an infrastructure project, will consider the application of ecological environment in project design. For example, in preparing an education infrastructure project in one targeted beneficiary country, Indonesian AID planning team put several input in creating ecological environment infrastructure that will maximize the use of eco friendly architecture and reduce the impact to environment that will contribute to reduce effect of climate change. Indonesian AID is also preparing a waste management project which will support the recipient in appropriately managing the produced waste so that the recipient could contribute to creating an environmental life around its people. These projects that Indonesian AID prepares and will implement in 2023 will be the effort and contribution from Indonesian AID for climate change mitigation and creating environmental life. If these projects can be successfully completed in 2023, the design and lessons learned from the projects will be implemented in other projects designed and planned by Indonesian AID.
Latest news in January from KOICA
As we welcome 2023, KOICA is gearing up to take another leap forward. On January 17, the agency celebrated the completion of the Vietnam-Korea Institute of Science and Technology (VKIST), a decade-long initiative, at Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park in Hanoi, Vietnam. A revised edition of International Development Cooperation: Introduction, a book that provides basic information on international development cooperation, was published six years after the first edition. On January 19, KOICA held an event titled Beyond Boundaries for communication among employees at headquarters and overseas offices, highlighting the agency s efforts for organizational innovation. NEWS 1. KOICA and JICA hold first joint seminar on evaluationOn December 19, KOICA hosted the first KOICA-JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) joint seminar on evaluation in a hybrid format. Attended by 50 staff members from each agency, the seminar served as a forum for the two organizations to establish a clear understanding of ODA evaluation systems and share their program evaluation experiences and know-how. During the morning session, JICA presented on its ODA evaluation system, covering the evaluation iframework, cooperation for evaluation, best practices, and feedback systems. JICA also shared its know-how and experience in this regard, including the latest trends in evaluations, exemplary cases, and learning from evaluation. The afternoon session primarily consisted of working-level discussions with particular focus on awareness building and feedback concerning evaluation iframeworks and evaluation assessments, and evaluation processes and results. KOICA also plans to host the 8th KOICA-JICA Annual Meeting in the first half of 2023. NEWS 2. 10-year project finalized: Completion ceremony of Vietnam-Korea Institute of Science and Technology (VKIST) A completion ceremony was held for the Vietnam-Korea Institute of Science and Technology (VKIST), for which KOICA provided support of $35 million for the past 10 years, at the Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park in Hanoi, Vietnam on January 17. Modelled after the Korea Institute of Science and Technology, VKIST is the largest research and development center in Vietnam. On a 231,404-sqm site in Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park, the institute has three research wings, a main building, a center machine house, a wastewater treatment plant, and storage for hazardous substances. Adaptability to the local environment in Vietnam was taken into consideration in the initial design stages, and VKIST was the first overseas construction project funded by KOICA to attain the green construction certification (G-SEED and LOTUS), thus becoming recognized as the only advanced green research institute in Vietnam. The Korean provided support for the institute through advanced research equipment, laboratory materials, and 300 electronic devices. Currently, VKIST is conducting 32 joint research projects between Korea and Vietnam, including electric vehicle motor and bird influenza diagnostic sensor projects. NEWS 3. ODA at a glance: Revised edition of International Development Cooperation: IntroductionKOICA published a revised edition of International Development Cooperation: Introduction, a guidebook on the basics of international development cooperation, following the publication of the first edition six years ago. The topics covered range from the definitions and history of international development cooperation to Korea s contributions and vision. Originally published in 2016, International Development Cooperation: Introduction has been recognized as a must-read for those new to international development cooperation. The book also includes cases of young people advancing careers and ambitions in international development cooperation, and has been used as a textbook at some universities in Korea. In the revised edition, the section on the latest trends and issues in international development cooperation section has been substituted by a new section titled International Development Cooperation and SDGs, with a particular focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. It also covers international initiatives to achieve the SDGs, key challenges, and prospects. NEWS 4. Beyond Boundaries: A forum to innovate organizational culture and communicateKOICA organized an event titled Beyond Boundaries to promote communication among employees from headquarters and overseas offices at its offices in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province on January 19. The event was attended by directors of overseas offices and director of departments at headquarters, in addition to staff members. Aimed at innovating organizational culture, the meeting featured highlight videos from the overseas office director s meeting, findings from discussions on organizational culture innovation, plans for implementing innovation, lessons from lectures and discussions, and activities to strengthen teamwork. In 2022, meeting the 30th anniversary of its establishment, KOICA announced its mid- and long-term management strategy of integrated approach, digital transformation, and organizational culture innovation. This event was held to share plans for organizational culture innovation with overseas offices and strengthen participatory decision-making for an enhanced work culture and sustainable development.
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