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International organizations

With the overall expansion of the Korean ODA volume, multilateral ODA is also increasing. As stated in the Strategic Plan, Korea will maintain the bilateral to multilateral ODA ratio at 70:30 and accordingly the volume of its multilateral ODA will be gradually increased in parallel to Korea’s ODA scaling-up plan. In 2010, multilateral ODA, which was channeled through MDBs and the UN and other multilateral organizations, stood at USD 273.2 million, accounting for 23% of the overall ODA. In the meantime, funding through MDBs accounts for approximately 70% of multilateral ODA every year.

Korea’s multilateral aid to MDBs and the UN and other multilateral organizations are supervised by MOSF and MOFA, respectively. MOSF administers contributions and subscriptions to MDBs, and their actual payment is made from foreign reserves of the Bank of Korea with the exception of the trust fund, which comes from the government budget. Korea Eximbank is partly entrusted with the management of trust funds to MDBs. On the other hand, MOFA supervises contribution to the UN funds and programs, agencies, and other multilateral organizations, while part of the payments and disbursements are delegated to some other ministries and offices. Since various government organizations are involved with the UN and other multilateral organizations, Korea tries to improve its coordinated decision making system. The Multilateral Assistance Committee, which is a sub-committee of the Inter-Agency Grants Committee led by MOFA, is a mechanism for cross-governmental coordination on contributions to the UN system and other multilateral organizations.

The Strategic Plan includes a comprehensive multilateral partnership plan, strategic focus, detailing scopes, sectors, and methods of assistance. Korea’s multilateral aid aims to support global efforts to achieve internationally agreed development goals including the MDGs, and address cross national issues such as climate change, food security, and humanitarian issues. By doing so, it complements and promotes synergy with bilateral aid. In the case of MDBs, the Korean government disbursed a total of USD 742 million (USD 148 million in average every year) during 2006-2010 to the WB, including IBRD, IDA, and IFC, and regional development banks, such as the ADB, ADB’s Asian Development Fund (ADF), IDB, IDB's Fund for Special Operations (FSO), AfDB, and EBRD, with the largest funding directed to the WB group and ADB. During the same period, however, multilateral aid through the UN and other multilateral organizations totaled USD 314 million (USD 63 million in average per year). Although the majority of assistance to the UN and other multilateral organizations is obligatory in-nature, voluntary contributions are gradually increasing, especially to the UN's funds and programs - i.e., UNDP, UNICEF, and WFP.

Korea actively takes part in the annual assemblies of MDBs, executive board meetings of the UN funds and programs, agencies and other multilateral organizations, and unofficial donor group meetings, in order to monitor development performance and organizational effectiveness of multilaterals, and mirror those findings back in Korea’s multilateral cooperation policy and strategy. Since joining the Multilateral Organization Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN) in December 2008, Korea has participated in MOPAN’s common approach to assess organizational effectiveness of multilateral structures. Korea believes that this joint effort will help enhance its understanding about structural, organizational and knowledge management system of the multilateral organizations, and utilize the findings in its multilateral aid polices and strategy accordingly.