The Korea International Cooperation Agency was founded as a government agency on April 1, 1991, to maximize the effectiveness of South Korea's grant aid programs for developing countries by implementing the government's grant aid and technical cooperation programs. In the past, development cooperation efforts were focused mainly on meeting the basic human needs (BHNs) of developing countries and on fostering their Human Resource Development (HRD). However, the focus has now broadened to promoting sustainable development, strengthening partnerships with developing partners, and enhancing the local ownership of beneficiaries. Additionally, global concerns such as the environment, poverty reduction, and gender mainstreaming, have gained significant importance in the international community.

Due to the continuously changing trends in development assistance efforts and practices, KOICA is striving to adapt to these changes by using its limited financial resources effectively in areas where Korea has a comparative advantage. In particular, Korea has the unique experience of developing from one of the poorest countries in the world to one of the most economically advanced, as recently demonstrated by South Korea's entry into the OECD DAC (Development Assistance Committee) on November 25, 2009. The know-how and experience Korea gained from this transition are invaluable assets that allow KOICA to efficiently support the sustainable socio-economic development of its partner countries and to offer them hope for a better world.

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Representation and empowerment of persons with disabilities
(Preventing Disease and Ensuring Treatment) Promote the adoption of healthy behaviors and lifestyles to reduce the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCD) and disabilities to minimize social and economic costs. Enhance inclusiveness within the legal/institutional system)Guarantee human, civil, social rights for people with disabilities.

Timeframe and/or implementation plan: 2016-2020.
Implementation plan: KOICA, in its ‘Mid-term Sectoral Strategy’, aims to support and fulfil the following tasks for people with disabilities: Improve the rights of vulnerable social groups by checking whether disability policies have been established. Increase the proportion of population who believe decision making is inclusive and responsive by sex, age, disability, and population group. Increase the proportions of positions of people with disabilities in public institutions (national and local legislatures, public services, and judiciary) compared to national distributions.

Theme: Eliminate Stigma and Discrimination
Year: 2018

Additional resources and implementation
Improve access to education for marginalized people who are left out of public education systems, including girls, people with disabilities, out-of-school children and students from poor households

Timeframe and/or implementation plan: 2016-2020.
Implementation Plan: KOICA’s Mid-term Education Strategy aims to increase the number of students who completed education programs (especially girls, students with disabilities, and out-of-school-children). One of its three ‘Education Strategic Objectives’ is ‘Inclusive Education for Disadvantaged Groups’, where it strongly supports programs that uphold education rights for children with disabilities.

Theme: Inclusive Education
Year: 2018

Skills development for decent work
While KOICA’s Mid-Term Strategy for the economic empowerment of the society’s vulnerable group mainly focuses on ‘agriculture and rural development’, 1) Expanding market access, 2) Enhancement of production quality, and 3) Constructing a strong foundation for production are closely related to enhancing the economic power and potential of the vulnerable group, including people with disabilities.

Timeframe and/or implementation plan: 2016-2020.
KOICA strategically supports the vulnerable groups in developing countries especially in: 1) Improving production infrastructure, 2) Increasing household income of the vulnerable and 3) Improving living conditions.

Theme: Routes to Economic Empowerment
Year: 2018

New programmes or services
The vision for KOICA’s Midterm Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation is to mobilize an innovation-based economy that developing countries can facilitate through their own efforts. Among its missions, ‘Promote innovative ways of solving development issues’ is closely related to disability issues in that it solves challenges faced by vulnerable groups through the assistance of technology and innovation. 

Timeframe and/or implementation plan: 2016-2020.
Implementation plan: KOICA strives to cooperate with start-up companies, small and mid-sized business, academia, research centers, NGOs and other agencies in the field to solve economic and social problems of people with disabilities through technology and innovation.

Theme: Harnessing Technology and Innovation
Year: 2018

Commit resources to support strengthened disability data
Although KOICA does not have any commitment for data disaggregation, it officially supports the ‘Incheon Strategy to Make the Right Real(2013-2022)’ which holds the overarching principle of data disaggregation of indicators wherever relevant by income, sex, age, race, migratory status, geographic location, and disability.

Timeframe and/or implementation plan: 2013-2022.
Implementation Plan: KOICA funds the ‘Korea Disabled People’s Development Institute’ every year (USD 640,000) which is the secretariat of the MRR(Make the Right Real) fund to support data disaggregation technology as well as empowerment of such skills in developing countries within the Asia-Pacific region.

Theme: Data Disaggregation
Year: 2018

KOICA’s Gender Equality Midterm Strategy strives for a society with gender equality and women’s dignity. Among its missions, it upholds the social status for gender equality, especially increasing women’s participation in decision making. 

Timeframe and/or implementation plan: 2016-2020.
Implementation plan: KOICA supports establishing gender-equal allocation systems of economic and productive resources, such as land, capital, infrastructure, etc to women and girls with disabilities. It also tries to increase the participation of women and girls with disabilities in the decision making process, thereby enhancing gender equality and equity in both the public and private sectors.     

Theme: Women and Girls with Disabilities
Year: 2018

KOICA carries out humanitarian assistance activities in forms of cash and in-kind contributions, deployment of disaster relief teams and cooperation with international institutions in cases of natural disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons, tsunami and flooding as well as man-made disasters such as civil wars and conflicts. Understanding that people with disabilities are much fragile and vulnerable to such disasters, it tries to respond timely to requests in order to provide strong emergency reliefs.

KOICA also supports Goal 7 of the Incheon Strategy which tries to ensure disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction and management. It will continuously support strengthening disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction planning in the developing countries of Asia and the Pacific, while also assisting countries to strengthen implementation of measures on providing timely and appropriate support to persons with disabilities in responding to disasters.

Timeframe and/or implementation plan
Implementation plan: In terms of disaster relief, the Korean government dispatches the Korean Disaster Relief Team(KDRT) to rescue human lives and support medical relief activities. Through its dispatch, KOICA tries to provide successful and timely assistance to countries heavily struck with natural and human disasters, while taking note that people with disabilities are most adversely affected by disasters.              

Theme: Conflict and Humanitarian Contexts
Year: 2018