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Interview with KOICA President Sohn Hyuk-sang
Updated: 2021-04-01 13:33:56 KST

Thank you, President Sohn, for your time today.
Q1. Korea International Cooperation Agency, or KOICA, marked 30 years since its establishment this year. Would you tell more about the agency for our viewers?

"KOICA is the premier aid giving agency of the Korean government established under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We provide US$ 800 million annually to our partner countries for many purposes. One is to help them achieve social and economic development, the other one is to reduce poverty, and also to promote human rights and gender equality. KOICA provides ODA through a variety of development interventions in over 120 development countries around the world."

Q2. Are there any contributions from KOICA regarding fight against COVID-19?

"KOICA launched "ABC program" as a COVID-19 response mechanism. The full name of the program is Agenda for Building Resilience against COVID-19 through International Development Cooperation. It has been very effective and KOICA helped around 38 million people from 116 countries across the ABC program. It supplied around US$150 million worth of face masks, test kits, negative pressure carriers and walk-through diagnostic booths."

Q3. The South Korean government is continuing to expand cooperation with its neighbors in the ASEAN and Eurasia, known as New Southern and New Northern Policies. Are there projects related to these initiatives?

"Target countries of the NSP, New Southern Policy, are 10 ASEAN members and India. This year, KOICA plans to provide these countries with grants worth 120 million U.S. dollars, that's a 22.5 percent increase over the previous year.
Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Ukraine, are the key target countries of the New Northern Policy. This year, our ODA budget for these countries amounts to over 32 million dollars, an increase of around 37 percent increase year-on-year."

Q4. Lastly, how do you plan to lead the agency as the President?

"I think now KOICA is ready to move, actually jump from Korea's leading organization to the level of global leading organization.
We need to actually integrate various approaches, various sectoral knowledge, various interventions into one project and enlarge the size of the project."

Thank you, President Sohn, for sharing your thoughts with us today.

My pleasure.
Reporter : yoonjm@arirang.com