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 Philippines

On 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 rates

KOICA 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 launched

KOICA 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.