By Shannon Jayawardena
KOICA – a grant aid division of the Korean Embassy, legally based on the framework agreement on grant aid between the two countries – has provided a total of $743.14 million in assistance to Sri Lanka.
The total assistance includes 34% for education, 24% for industry and energy, 14% for governance, 10% for emergency response, 9% for health, 6% for agriculture and fishery and 3% for other sectors while the country partnership strategy focuses mainly on education, transport, water management, sanitation and rural area developments.
KOICA Sri Lanka office Resident Representative Lee Dong Ku said: “KOICA is an affiliated organisation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Korean Government and we have many activities and projects in Sri Lanka that contribute towards the growth of the country’s economy and sustainable development.”
Out of the several ongoing projects, one of the company’s biggest investments is a $13 million National College of Education and Teacher Training system for the technological stream of the country which is being established in order to strengthen vocational training and the tech platform. They have also invested $7.5 million in implementing a school development project in Killinochchi.
Likewise, $2.5 million has been allocated for the establishment for a master-plan and capacity building for the Ocean University of Sri Lanka and $31.2 million for a tourism specialised education project in Wattala that will help boost the tourism sector and implement value added qualifications.
Targeting the agriculture and fishery sectors, KOICA has also initiated a project to improve food security, nutrition and resilience to climate related shocks in nine disaster prone districts in the country and a water quality enhancement project in the Welioya Divisional secretariat.
Emphasising on the rural area developments and enhancing their capacities and well-being, the company has commenced three projects which include village capacity building for the education of all children, income generation with natural farming and strengthening market mechanisms for SME farmers in Vaharai and Koralai Pattu and strengthening maternal and newborn healthcare in the Matara district.
KOICA Sri Lanka Deputy Country Director Chon Gyongshik stated: “Creating jobs through the expansion of education linked to employment, expanding interregional economic exchanges, promoting export to increase tourism revenue, building capacity to manage water resources, modernising fisheries and agriculture and achieving balanced regional development through Northern and Eastern province development are few of KOICA’s many visions and missions here in Sri Lanka.”
Pix by Gitika Talukdar