Korea's spending to help less developed countries build up their economic and industrial infrastructure grew 5.8 percent in 2011 from a year earlier, a report showed Thursday.
Seoul allocated US$1.32 billion to official development assistance (ODA) last year, the 17th largest among the 23 major donor nations in the world and up one notch from 2010, according to the report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
ODA is designed to help underdeveloped countries establish their economic and industrial infrastructure. The assistance consists of concessional loans, grants and other support for multilateral cooperation business.
South Korea joined the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) club in 2009, marking its official transition from an aid recipient to a donor nation on the international stage.
The organization also said total contributions by South Korea in relation to its per capita reached US$29,994 last year, up $2,264 from the year before.
Asia's fourth-largest economy's ODA divided by its gross national income (GNI) stood at 0.12 percent, placing it 22nd among DAC countries.
The OECD said for the whole of 2011, major donors provided $135.5 billion in assistance to poor countries with the United States, Germany, Britain, France and Japan making the top five list.
The Ministry of Strategy and Finance, which oversees Korea's ODA along with the foreign ministry, said Seoul is committed to doing its part to expand assistance to developing economies around the world.
The total amount of aid to be given in relation to its GNI will be raised to 0.15 percent in 2012 with the 2015 target set at 0.25 percent, it said. (Yonhap)