Liberia’s Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Al-Hassan Conteh, and the Country Director and Regional Representative of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), Madame Park Soon Hyun, recently held discussions aimed at strengthening bilateral ties between Liberia and South Korea.
Established in 1991 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of South Korea, KOICA is responsible for Official Development Assistance (ODA) to enhance the effective delivery of South Korea’s technical cooperation and aid programs to developing countries.
According to a release from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja, the KOICA Country director said that Liberia has been included as a beneficiary of the World Health Organization (WHO) project on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD’s).
The project, according to the release, is implemented in collaboration with the WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and KOICA Headquarters in Korea.
Also, five Liberian participants have been nominated to participate in the KOICA-AU Short Training scheduled for this month in South Korea, the release said.
During discussions at the Liberian Embassy in Abuja, Ambassador Conteh appreciated the effort and intervention of KOICA in Liberia.
The Liberian Envoy added that the embassy would continue to cooperate and work closely with KOICA in areas of interest to South Korea and Liberia, including the specialization of Liberian medical graduates and support for health intervention in Liberian communities and referral hospitals.
KOICA’s Country Director and Regional Representative, Madame Sook Hyun, informed the Ambassador that a Korean medical equipment specialist would be dispatched to Liberia this month (September) to work with the Ministry of Health in providing technical expertise on the operation and use of some medical equipment that KOICA donated to referral hospitals in Liberia.
Madame Hyun recalled that during a recent KOICA-Nigeria and the Johns Hopkins Program for International Education in Gynecology and Obstetrics (JHPIEGO) joint evaluation visit to Liberia in February this year, her team discovered that some of the expensive medical equipment donated by KOICA to Liberia were not being utilized, while others were unused due to lack of technical expertise to operate them.
At the close of the meeting, the KOICA Director provided Ambassador Conteh the application forms for the submission of priority project proposals for the KOICA Year 2020 round of funding.
Madame Hyun advised that proposals should fall in South Korea’s areas of comparative advantage – including ICT, Education, Governance, and Health Policy.
The Korean Government’s Capacity Building Programs are designed to train 20 participants per country over a three-five year period.
First Secretary of the Liberian Embassy, Daniel Rogers, Research Officer Ms. Mavis Eta, and Kayode Adebisi, Program Assistant, both of KOICA, also attended the meeting.