Bilateral and Multilateral ODA
The Korean government’s objective is to meet a bilateral to multilateral ODA ratio of 75:25. In 2018, the bilateral share of ODA stood at 74.2%, while the multilateral share was 25.8%.
Notably, the volume of Korea’s bilateral assistance has continued to grow since 1996. In 2018, bilateral ODA reached USD 1.8 billion, increasing by 11.2% from the previous year. The overall trend in multilateral assistance over the past five years also has been an increasing one. Although 2017 saw a slight decrease in Korea’s multilateral ODA, it rose by 6% to USD 623.8 million in 2018.
Grants and Concessional Loans
Bilateral ODA consists of grants and concessional loans. Until 2002, the share of concessional loans in Korea’s bilateral aid was higher than that of grants. However, with an increased provision of aid to conflict-affected areas in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2003, the share of grants in bilateral ODA (70%) started to exceed that of concessional loans (30%).
Korea’s target ratio of grants to concessional loans is 40:60. As of 2018, the share of concessional loans was 37.2%, while that of grants stood at 62.8%, nearing the government’s target.