Leading the way in fighting world povertyAs North Korea is escalating its threat, some Koreans may think that talking about foreign aid is absurd but here are some facts. Malawi ranks 170th out of 187 in the Human Development Index. This index indicates the well-being of people in a certain country. South Korea ranks 12th, according to the UNDP report of 2012. A colleague of mine in Canada just went for a six-day fact-finding mission with two Canadian members of Parliament to find out what is happening in one of the poorest countries in the world.
This is what he found. That there’s an incredible spirit of joy for the littlest benefits afforded to them: when the Canadians emptied their pockets and contributed 90 dollars to them, that was worth twice the annual revenue of a farmer for back breaking work, that called for spontaneous singing and dancing celebration.
In many villages which have benefitted from the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, the good news are not just financial: The coffin makers have to diversify their business to make tables, chairs and dressers because people stopped dying!
So what’s all this got to do with South Korea? As it became one of the most blessed countries in the world and is now one of the emerging forces in development aid, it will have to carefully invest in the projects that save most lives in the shortest time possible and show the way to other upcoming emerging donor countries like Brazil, China and India.
I know that South Korea will lead the way in benefiting those who need it the most. It needs to reach those who are the most vulnerable as quickly as possible. Programs such as Global Fund for Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria have managed to save an unparalleled 10 million lives since its inception in 2002.
South Korea should help sustain this success into the future, as it is figuring out a way into peaceful reunion with the North Korea.
By Sunnie Kim, Results-Korea