Republic of Korea

We work with the Government of the Republic of Korea, private-sector partners, civil society organizations, and academic institutions to enhance the country’s contributions to global health and development, including in the fight against pandemics and infectious diseases.
Lab technician working on a neutralising antibody test on the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus at a Bio Safety Level (BSL) 3 laboratory at the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) in Seoul.

At a glance

  • Korea is committed to supporting global efforts to alleviate poverty and promote sustainable growth, drawing on its advanced science and innovation capabilities.
  • Together with the Korean government and Korean life science companies, we established the Research Investment for Global Health Technology (RIGHT) Fund to advance the discovery and development of new health technologies in low- and middle-income countries.
  • In 2020, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) partnered with Korea-based SK Bioscience to develop a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. This partnership has since expanded to include work on vaccine candidates against COVID-19 variants.


Korea has become a critical donor and partner in the area of global health and development. Drawing on its advanced technical capabilities in science and innovation, the country has played an important role by sharing its development experience and supporting countries in need.

Korea was one of the first Asian donors to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and it has continued to contribute to Gavi, ensuring that children around the world are protected against vaccine-preventable disease and death. It has been a long-term supporter of multilateral organizations including the World Bank, the World Health Organization, CEPI, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The government has committed to increasing its overseas development assistance to 0.3% of gross national income (GNI) by 2030 and to doubling its overseas development assistance to Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states by 2022 (compared to 2017 levels). In 2021, the government announced that it would make development of its global health sector a higher priority in its third Strategic Plan for International Development Cooperation. Korea is expected to play an increasingly important role in the achievement of universal health objectives by improving access to health and medical care for all.

Throughout the past few years, the Republic of Korea has shown remarkable leadership in global development, especially global health. We look forward to continued collaboration to address the needs of our shared world. 
Mihoko Kashiwakura
Head of East Asia Relations, Global Policy and Advocacy,
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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