The South Korean government set next year's budget for official development aid at 3.5 trillion won (US$3.16 billion) on Friday, with a focus on projects aimed at helping developing countries stand on their own feet, officials said.
The decision was made during a meeting of the government committee on official development assistance presided over by Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon. Next year's budget represents a 14.5 percent increase from this year's 3 trillion won.
Of the total, about 2.26 trillion won, or 65 percent, will be spent on projects supporting the United Nations' sustainable development goals designed to lay the foundations for developing countries to stand on their own feet, officials said.
About 154.4 billion won will be spent on food provision and other humanitarian crisis response projects.
The government will train ODA experts and provide them with jobs, officials said.
The budget will be divided among 1,472 projects, up from this year's 1,312.
About 60 percent of the budget will be spent on projects for Asian and African nations in areas where South Korea has a competitive edge, such as transportation, healthcare and education, officials said.