|Korea´s support of IVI exemplifies national commitment to development assistance for world’s poorest nations|
The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) congratulates the Republic of Korea on becoming the newest member of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on November 25. Established in 1997, the IVI is the first international organization hosted by Korea, and is the world’s only international organization exclusively devoted to developing and introducing vaccines for people in developing countries.
“By becoming a member of the elite donor nations’ club, Korea has once again demonstrated its commitment to co-prosperity of the international community and world peace, said Dr. John Clemens, Director-General of the IVI. “The IVI extends its full support to Korea, which is stepping up its drive to share its development experience and success with the developing world.”
Korea’s DAC participation is significant in that the international community recognizes Korea as an advanced country in foreign aid. Notably, Korea is the world’s only nation that has transformed itself from being a foreign aid recipient to a foreign aid donor.
Korea’s story is the best example of how international development assistance can change a country and the world. Korea, which was one of the world’s poorest nations just half a century ago, emerged from the ruins of the Korean War and extreme poverty. The country relied heavily on foreign assistance to rebuild its economy, receiving a total of US$13 billion between 1945 and the late 1990s.
Today, Korea is one of the largest economies in the world. Next year, the country will chair the G20 summit, as it has rapidly emerged from the global financial crisis. Korea provided foreign aid worth US$803 million in 2008, up from US$696 million just one year earlier. The 2008 figure includes about US$4.3 million, which was extended to the IVI as part of Korea’s overseas development assistance (ODA). The Korean government has pledged to increase its ODA for the world from the present 0.09 percent of its GDP to 0.15 percent by 2012, and 0.25 percent by 2015.
Korea’s support of the IVI best exemplifies the country’s desire to contribute to the world. When it made the successful bid to host the IVI in the 1990s, Korea sought to repay what it received from the international community, and it has delivered on its promise over the past years. Korea has been one of the most generous donors to the IVI’s humanitarian efforts to develop and deploy new vaccines for the world’s poor.
“The IVI is very privileged to serve as a vehicle for Korea’s contributions to the world. With the continued generosity of Korea and the Korean people, we will make major contributions to our shared vision of a world where all children living in the world´s poorest countries are protected by vaccines against killer infectious diseases.” Dr. Clemens said.
The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) is the world’s only international organization devoted exclusively to developing and introducing new and improved vaccines to protect the world’s poorest people, especially children in developing countries. Established as an initiative of the United Nations Development Program in 1997, the IVI operates under a treaty signed by 40 countries and the World Health Organization. The Institute conducts research in 28 countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America on vaccines against diarrheal infections, bacterial meningitis and pneumonia, as well as Japanese encephalitis and dengue fever, and develops new and improved vaccines at its headquarters in Seoul. For more information, please visit www.ivi.int