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Korean Government Pledges $3 Million in Continued Support for Millennium Villages

Maize harvest, Mbola Tanzania

NEW YORK,  May 1 – Millennium Promise and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) are pleased to announce their continued partnership in support of the Millennium Villages Project-Saemaul with a new pledge from KOICA of US $3 million through 2015.

This gift will fund project activities in the Millennium Village of Mbola, Tanzania, as well as provide in-kind contribution of technical support and training for livestock-centered activities in the Millennium Village of Ruhiira, Uganda, from Jan. 1, 2014, through Dec. 31, 2015. The new pledge builds upon KOICA’s previous generous support of US $6.5 million provided over five years (2009-13) in partnership with the UN World Tourism Organization’s Sustainable Tourism for Eliminating Poverty Foundation and the Republic of Korea’s Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, both of which provided additional funding.

The Millennium Villages Project shares much in common with the Saemaul Undong, or “New Village Movement,” a successful poverty alleviation initiative that transformed the rural economy and living conditions across the Republic of Korea starting in the 1970s. Like the Saemaul Undong, the Millennium Villages Project is a community-driven initiative focused on addressing local challenges in infrastructure, health, education, and agriculture and business development.

“As our country greatly reduced rural poverty through the Saemaul Undong in the 1970s,” says KOICA President Kim Young-Mok, “so are KOICA and the Millennium Villages Project together helping rural communities across sub-Saharan Africa today to overcome extreme poverty and find their way onto the path of sustainable development. We are proud to support this important work in Tanzania and Uganda, and to share the lessons of Saemaul Undong.”

“We are enormously grateful for this generous new gift,” says Professor Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Millennium Villages Project. “Through this renewal of support, KOICA and the Government of the Republic of Korea are demonstrating their tremendous continued commitment and international leadership in support of the progress being made toward the Millennium Development Goals, human security, and the achievement of balanced and sustainable development across sub-Saharan Africa.”

The Millennium Villages of Mbola and Ruhiira supported by KOICA are two of the 10 core project sites currently in year nine of a 10-year project period. A final evaluation of the Millennium Villages Project will be published in mid-2016.

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