Thursday, December 17, 2009

KOICA Improves Cambodia’s Sustainable Socio-Economic Development

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) will continue its assistance, including financial and technical, for improving and developing sustainable socio-economic development in Cambodia, according to Son Dung-Il, Deputy Representative of KOICA Cambodia Office.

Son Dung-Il said that to promote and accelerate social development and economic growth in Cambodia, KOICA will be continuing its hard work helping the Cambodian government prepare and design poverty reduction strategies and programs in Cambodia. He added that KOICA will also continue its financial and technical assistance for development in Cambodia in order to help it become a developed and industrial country in future.

Lee Kyung-Soo, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Cambodia, said that Cambodia is one of Korea’s key partner countries in terms of Oversea Development Assistance (ODA) programs.

Lee Kyung-Soo continued to say that in the early 1990s, Korea’s grant aids to Cambodia started on a small scale, mainly in the form of humanitarian aid. However, it has increased exponentially in terms of volume, and more importantly, in term of substance since diplomatic relations between the two countries were re-established in 1997.

He stated that Cambodia now enjoys maintaining its place as one of the top major recipient countries of ODA from Korea.

In 2008 alone, the volume of Korea’s grant aid was ranked number one with more than US$13 million. It amounts to over US$33 millions in total if the EDCF loans are included.

“As you may know Korea was admitted to the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) last month as its 24th member. In the history of ODA, Korea has become the first case of a recipient –turned-donor. Joining the DAC, Korea reminds itself of its responsibility to pay back to the world by sharing what they have gone through and drawing upon their experiences as a developing country and an emerging donor,” he said during opening speech delivered to the “First KOICA ODA Workshop” on December 11.

He emphasized that the Korean Government, which puts its major policy goals on building a “Global Korea” through contribution to the international community, has consistently endeavored to increase the volume and expand the scope of its development assistance.

“It is Korea’s plan to achieve a threefold increase in the volume of ODA by the year 2015. Taking these efforts into consideration, Korea will expand its cooperation programs with Cambodia in the years to come,” he said.

He added that it is apparent that Korea’s ODA to Cambodia has been in line with the priorities of the Rectangular Strategy and the National Strategic Development Program, and many projects and programs continue to be relevant to the Rectangular Strategy Phase II in this current mandate of the Cambodian government. In this framework, the demand-driven principle has been applied to all requested proposals for Korea’s ODA that reflect clearly the ownership, leadership, alignments and mutual accountability envisioned in the Paris Declaration. //

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