South Korea plans to spend around 2.73 trillion won (US$2.29 billion) on its development assistance projects next year aimed at helping less developed countries in many areas, the foreign ministry said Monday.
The amount is up 289.2 billion won from 2.44 trillion won set aside for the country's official development assistance (ODA) efforts for this year, according to the ministry.
The government earlier held an ODA committee and finalized its plan to push for a total of 1,295 projects next year out of 1,386 proposed by relevant agencies, the ministry said in a press release.
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.
Of the total, around 2.21 trillion won will be assigned to projects being pushed through bilateral cooperation, while the remainder will be used for projects involving a multiple number of countries.
The government plans to set aside 190 billion won on efforts to help the lives of girls in developing countries, 280.8 billion won on safety, 199.9 billion won on scientific and technological innovation and 38.4 billion won on education in African countries.
The government also plans to find out new areas in which the development assistance can be injected. In particular, it will step up efforts to make use of popular Korean pop culture in such areas as tourism, design, sports and broadcast where it can create synergy in many developing countries. (Yonhap)