Korea, the Helpful Country

Can you count this number?

= Around 70 trillion won (12.7 billion dollars)

The amount of international aid Korea received for 50 years :1945 – 1999

However, Korea overcame its difficult times and joined the world’s top 10 economic superpowers.
In 2000, Korea left its status as an OECD beneficiary.
In 2009, Korea joined the OECD Development Assistance Committee, which provides more than 90% of international aid.

The whole country was devoted to economic development. Within half century, Korea transformed itself from an aid beneficiary to a donor. In 1950, the Korean War devastated the country. Over a half of the population was injured or killed. A total of 21 countries, including America, Britain, Ethiopia, the Philippines, and Turkey, offered help. They volunteered to provide medical and military assistance.  In less than 50 years, Korea recovered from the devastation.

Now, Koreans are helping other countries that suffer from war. In 1993, Korea accepted the UN’s request to send a PKO (Peace-Keeping Operation). It sent its peacekeeping troops to 15 countries, including Lebanon, Haiti, and Somalia.

In 2010, Haiti was struck by a deadly earthquake. To help the people of Haiti, Korea sent a peacekeeping unit named Danbi. Korea has never forgotten the help they received in their difficult times. They now return the favor by assisting in medical care, IT education, drinking water supplies, and road reconstruction.

“Ten years from now, I want to go to Korea and help the disabled and orphans.”
- Peterson Magido (16, Haiti refugee town resident)

The Korean Danbi Unit received a UN medal, the highest honor given to UN peacekeeping forces.
Korea has now officially become an international aid donor. In 1960, Korea suffered from the aftermath of Japanese colonial rule and the subsequent war. 

Most major infrastructure was completely destroyed. Korea was one of the poorest countries with little technology and capital.

In December of 1963, Jang Chung Gymnasium was opened. It was Korea’s first indoor athletics facility.
The Gymnasium came to existence thanks to the assistance of the Philippines.

At the time, many countries provided help to Korea to build infrastructure like hospitals.
In the 1960s, Korea needed the aid of its global neighbors.

However, today, around 50 years later
Korea provides help to other countries in the world.
Koreans are teaching about their advanced technology to help developing countries stand on their own.

Koreans are building schools for underprivileged children in poor countries. Koreans are also helping to build bridges, roads and hospitals in poor towns across the world. Korea is now an aid donor that provides help to countries in need. 

About 50 years ago Korea was a poverty-ridden country. Many people suffered from malnutrition and starvation.

“Barley Hump”
It refers to the period between May and June, when the fall harvest runs out but the barley is not yet ripe. Many Koreans in the past had to endure hunger during this period.However, around 50 years later, in 2011, they presented a miraculous change in Busan, Korea. 

Busan hosted the High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, the world’s largest conference on aid.  Korea is now helping its global neighbors who suffer from starvation. To help ease their suffering in the long run, Koreans share their agricultural technology, along with food aid.

Now, Korea is one of the international aid donors, who provide help to people in need. Within only a half century, Korea was transformed from a beneficiary to an aid donor! Korea is the first country in the world to make the successful transformation from one of the poorest to an aid donor. 

This miracle provides hope to many developing countries that suffer from economic crises. Around 50 years ago, no one could imagine that Korea could pull through. However, Koreans never gave up their dream. They strove to achieve their dream.

“Korea’s success is not only due to international aid, but Korean people’s diligence and creativity.”
– Kathleen Stephens, Former US Ambassador to Korea

Korea has taken the next step after becoming a successful country. Korea has the second highest number of international volunteers after the U.S. Korea is a country of hope to the people of the world. Young Koreans are making the future of Korea. They are not dreaming of Korea as the world’s leading economic superpower. They are dreaming of Korea as the world’s most inspiring country.

10 years. 20 years.

The world will hear the voices of new emerging countries.

“We overcame hardships, thanks to our Korean friends.”
“Now we have also become an aid donor.”

VANK is educating young Koreans, who will bring hope to the world. The population of Korea,
Only 1% of the world’s total population. However, this 1% of people will bring hope and change to the world. The 7 billion people of the world will see positive changes and miracles in the world.

We are proud Koreans. We will create miracles for the world.

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