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Yoon pledges $24m donation to epidemic coalitionBy Shin Ji-hye
Published : May 20, 2023 - 19:05
President Yoon Suk Yeol pledged $24 million to a coalition combating epidemics and double its provision of grain through the UN World Food Program during an expanded meeting of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, Saturday.
Yoon pledged the new donation to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to strengthen global health care systems. The coalition was created at the 2007 Davos Forum as a public-private joint venture whose backers included the Norwegian government and the Bill Gates Foundation. The goal was to fund $3.5 billion by 2026.
During the inaugural session focused on food, health, development and gender, Yoon expressed South Korea's commitment to participating in the global effort to eradicate disease, while also emphasizing the need to bolster assistance for nations grappling with food crises, according to the presidential office.
"We have decided to double our support through the United Nations World Food Program, raising the nation’s annual assistance from 50,000 tons (of grain) to 100,000 tons,” Yoon said, adding Korea would expand the emergency rice reserve for the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve, or APTERR.
APTERR is a public stockpiling system that contracts and stores rice in advance to sell, lend or provide for free in case of emergencies.
In the long term, South Korea will promote the K-Rice Belt establishment project to support food production in poor countries, Yoon said. This is a program that improves the overall food value chain in seven African countries: Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Ghana, Cameroon, Uganda and Kenya.
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