The South Korean government is planning to accede to the Food Assistance Convention (FAC) within this year in order to provide more food for developing countries and deal with the structural oversupply of rice in South Korea that has continued for long.
A total of 14 countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan, have acceded to the FAC so far. They are planning to provide food aids worth US$3.32 billion in total this year alone. The South Korean government, in the meantime, is planning to send 50,000 tons of rice to about five developing countries next year via the World Food Programme (WFP) and so on. A budget of 46 billion won is estimated to be required for the purpose.
South Korea began to supply its rice for international aid purposes to another country other than North Korea in May last year. At that time, the South Korean government sent 750 tons of rice to Cambodia and Myanmar via the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR).
The shipment has a historical significance in that South Korea received much assistance from developed countries between 1945 and the late 1970s. The international aid that was provided for South Korea during the period amounted to US$4.4 billion and it set the foundation for the country’s economic development. According to the Korea International Cooperation Agency, the international aid accounted for 12% of its average annual GNP and 73% of its total annual income.