Liberia’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Professor Al-Hassan Conteh, and the Country Director and Regional Representative of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), Madame Park Soon Hyun, have held discussions aimed at strengthening bilateral ties between the two nations.
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 disclosed that Liberia has been included as a beneficiary of the World Health Organization (WHO) project on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).
The project, according to the release, is implemented in 0collaboration between 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 adds.
During the discussion at the Liberian Embassy in Abuja, Conteh appreciated the efforts and interventions of KOICA in Liberia, adding 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.
For her part, KOICA’s Country Director and Regional Representative, Madame Sook Hyun, informed the Ambassador that a Korean medical equipment specialist would be dispatched to Liberia in 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 John Hopkins Program for International Education in Gynecology and Obstetrics (JHPIEGO) joint evaluation visit to Liberia in February of this year, her team discovered that some of the expensive medical equipment donated by KOICA to Liberia were unutilized, while others were unused due to the 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 in Korea over a three to five year period.
Mr. Daniel Rogers, First Secretary of the Liberian Embassy, Ms. Mavis Eta, Research Officer and Mr. Kayode Adebisi, Program Assistant, both of KOICA, also attended the meeting,.