SEOUL, July 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Wednesday earmarked 4.17 trillion won (US$3.7 billion) for its 2022 official development assistance (ODA) budget, up 12.3 percent from a year ago, the government said.
The 2022 ODA budget was approved in a meeting of the government's international development assistance committee chaired by Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum.
The size of next year's ODA budget represents substantial increases in funds toward assistance in pandemic-related areas and humanitarian aid.
Funds for cooperation in public health increased 36.5 percent to 458.4 billion won amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Funds toward humanitarian aid programs were also raised substantially, up 51.1 percent to 291.6 billion won, which includes a $1 billion grant toward the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).
The COVAX AMC is a financing mechanism intended to make COVID-19 vaccines available at low cost for more than 90 developing countries with relatively low incomes.
The proportion of funds for areas of transportation and education stood at 13.1 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively.
The government also decided to advance a plan to raise the rate of ODA in the area of green energy from the current 20 percent level up to the 28.1 percent average met by members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's Development Assistance Committee.
Kim said that South Korea will "actively take the lead in resolving global issues, such as bringing an end to the public health crisis, promoting a transition to green energy and ushering in the transition to a digital economy" by utilizing the country's strength in related fields.
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