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S. Korea's 2020 ODA down 8.7 percent on-year amid COVID-19 pandemic

Pedestrians walk on a street near Gwanghwamun Square in February. (Yonhap)
Pedestrians walk on a street near Gwanghwamun Square in February. (Yonhap)
South Korea's official development assistance for foreign countries fell 8.7 percent to $2.25 billion last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, recent data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has shown.

According to the data on the tentative tally of 29 members of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee released Tuesday, South Korea's bilateral ODA for 2020 stood at $1.76 billion, down 5 percent from a year ago, while its multilateral contributions slumped 19.9 percent to $490 million.

South Korea's overall ranking among DAC members in terms of assistance volume stood at 16th, down one notch from a year ago. The country's ratio of ODA against its gross national income was tallied at 0.14 percent, down 0.01 percentage point from a year ago. 

The South Korean government attributed the decline to the overall decrease in assistance programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic and reductions in contributions to regional development banks.

Half of Seoul's bilateral ODA last year went to Asian nations, with those channeled to African and Central and South America accounting for 22.8 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively, according to the OECD data.

The combined volume of ODA by all DAC members stood at $161.2 billion in 2020. The average ODA/GNI ratio was recorded at 0.32 percent. (Yonhap)