Korea, US Partner to ramp up developments in PH

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By Alithea De Jesus

The leading development agencies of the Republic of Korea and the United States of America on Wednesday, April 7, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to advance development cooperation in the Philippines. 

Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Inchul Kim and U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John Law joined Acting KOICA Philippines Country Director Jaesang Hwang and USAID Philippines Mission Director Lawrence Hardy II for the MOU signing at the U.S. Embassy in Manila.

“The Korean government is glad to enhance its partnership with the U.S. under this MOU in promoting sustainable and inclusive development in the Philippines. Together with the U.S., Korea hopes to reach out to the Filipinos in the Bayanihan spirit, which is at the heart of Korea’s development cooperation efforts in the Philippines,” said Ambassador Kim.

The MOU aims to strengthen Korea-U.S. partnership to foster sustainable development.  It builds upon a global MOU for development cooperation signed by the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and USAID in Washington, DC in 2019.

“The United States is proud to partner with the Korean government on projects to promote mutual development goals in the Philippines.  Together, we are supporting the Philippine government in creating a more prosperous, sustainable society for all Filipinos,” said Chargé d’Affaires Law.

Korea and the United States are among the largest bilateral donors in the Philippines.  Over the past 30 years, Korea has expanded its development assistance in both grants and budgetary support and is the second-largest development assistance donor in the Philippines. 

Through USAID, the United States has a robust foreign assistance portfolio and has provided more than $5.1 billion (Php247.5 billion) in support to the Philippines since 1961.

KOICA and USAID’s development assistance programs span an array of sectors, including poverty reduction in rural areas, empowerment of women and girls, water resource management, community rehabilitation in Marawi, and climate resilience.  Under the MOU, KOICA and USAID will explore additional areas of cooperation in these and other sectors in the Philippines.