Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and KOICA Bangladesh Alumni Association (KBAA) jointly celebrated KOICA’s 30th anniversary at a hotel in the capital yesterday.

The programme was held with the title “KOICA’s 30th Anniversary Celebration- Deepening Bilateral Ties between Republic of Korea and Bangladesh for LDC Graduation”.

State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak, Saber Hossain Chowdhury, MP, chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Environment, Forest andClimate Change and Honorary President Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Fatima Yasmin, secretary, Economic Relations Division, Lee Jang-keun, ambassador of South Korea, Monzur Hossain, MP, president, KBAA and chairman, Rupali Bank Limited and Young-Ah Doh, country director, KOICA Bangladesh Office were present at the function.

As Bangladesh celebrates its Golden Jubilee of Independence and is being considered as a role model for other developing countries’ economies, KOICA’s contribution in the socio-economic growth is notable, said a press release.

The Republic of Korea was also a recipient country which later successfully transited from aid-receiving to aid-providing nation through ODA.

KOICA was established as a government-funded agency dedicated to grant aid programs of the Republic of Korea on April 1, 1991, from an agency of having an annual budget of only US$15.3 million in 1991 it now executes a total of US$859 million in 2021.

KOICA’s successful projects in the sectors of ICT governance, health and education are aligned with its strategy plan focusing on three programs, namely, Enhance Efficiency of Public Service by establishing Digital Public System, Enhance Public health by providing Quality of Health and Medical Service and Develop Skillful Human Resource for Sustainable Development.

Speaking on the occasion, Zunaid Ahmed mentioned that KOICA’s different bilateral projects in the ICT sector since its operation in Bangladesh remarkably helped the country establish the pillars of Digital Bangladesh.

Saber Hossain Chowdhury said KOICA makes a difference by reaching out to the grassroots levels and communities to bring happiness to the people in need.

Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Bangladesh said Bangladesh has been making strides in growth and development despite the global pandemic. He also assured to stand by the country.

KOICA’s Country Director congratulated Bangladesh for fulfilling the required eligibility criteria for its successful graduation from the UN’s Least Developed Countries and said, “KOICA will stand together for inclusive development which leaves no one behind for people-centered for peace, prosperity and planet.”

He also mentioned how KOICA successfully completed 28 development bilateral projects while 13 projects are in the works and four in the pipeline. Besides, some 566 World Friends Korea (WFK) volunteers dispatched and about 2,300 government officials were sent to Korea to receive hands-on capacity building program.

Furthermore, the event comprised of a keynote presentation on ‘Bangladesh LDC Graduation and Official Development Assistance’ by Shahriar Kader Siddiky, Joint Secretary, Economic Relations Division, where he stated, ‘next 30 years of KOICA in Bangladesh will exceed the previous history of mutual development assistance by exponential factors.

The keynote was followed by detailed presentations on ‘Overview of Bangladesh’s LDC Graduation and its impact on Economy and Industry’ by dignified officials from General Economic Division, Planning Commission.

The release said KOICA pledges to contribute towards achieving the SDGs aligned with the national development plan of the government of Bangladesh and assist in the graduation to developed country status by 2041.

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