Published : 2013-12-13 11:30
Updated : 2013-12-13 11:30
South Korea has practically lowered its goal of future overseas development aid due to budget constraints, the foreign ministry said Friday.
The government has vowed to increase its official development assistance (ODA) level to 0.25 percent of the country's gross national income (GNI) by 2015 as part of efforts to give back after receiving help from the international community to rebuild its economy following the 1950-53 Korean War.
Under the plan set up in 2010, the government has annually increased its budget for ODA but has continued to miss its yearly targets since 2011.
ODA is designed to help Asian, African and Latin American countries establish economic and industrial infrastructure. The assistance consists of concessional loans, grants and other support for multilateral cooperation.
"Considering the current rate of budget increase, attaining the 0.25 percent goal seems to be practically hard," the foreign ministry said in a written answer to questions from a parliamentary committee on foreign affairs.
"The government earmarked 0.16 percent of the country's GNI for the assistance programs in 2014, a large disparity compared with the original goal of 0.21 percent."
Despite the budget pressure, Seoul needs to increase the ODA level to 0.2 percent "to show its sincerity regarding the pledge to the international community," the ministry stressed.
The authority will try to seek ways to attain the 0.2 percent goal through consultations with related government offices, it added. (Yonhap News)