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SoKor will donate 539,900 AstraZeneca vax doses to PH.

With the upcoming donation of 539,430 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to the Philippines this month, the South Korean government is bolstering its pandemic assistance to the Philippines.

The donations are expected to arrive on November 30, according to the Korean Embassy in Manila.

“The Embassy of the Republic of Korea is pleased to assist the Philippine government in its goal of inoculating 15 million Filipinos during the National Covid-19 Vaccination Days, which will take place from November 29 to December 1, 2021,” it said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The donation is part of Korea’s and the Philippines’ joint efforts to protect public health and support the Philippines’ local response to Covid-19 by vaccinating Filipinos.”

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) last year, the embassy has worked closely with Philippine partners to protect front-line workers and to lessen the impact of the crisis on the livelihoods of affected Filipino families.

The upcoming donation brings Korea’s Covid-19 assistance to the Philippines to USD210.7 million, or approximately PHP10.67 billion.

The Philippines will receive about USD200 million in concessional loans to help them procure enough vaccines in 2021 and support the government’s efforts to scale up its Covid-19 response.

According to 2018 data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Korea’s grant component in its concessional loan is at least 88.4 percent.

“It means that the Philippines will only have to repay 12.6 percent of the debt, while the remaining 88.4 percent will not be repaid. As a result, Korea’s concessional loan offers the Philippines extremely favorable terms “According to the embassy,

Korea has also donated 530,000 swab test kits, seven walk-through booths, two extraction equipment, six isolation beds, 970,000 masks, 167,000 hygiene kits, and 1,200 units of personal protective equipment in addition to the loans.

It also handed out rice pouches to about 365,000 Filipinos, who are among the country’s most vulnerable, to help them cope with the pandemic.

At least 34 refrigerated trucks for transporting Covid-19 vaccines and four trucks for transporting vaccine-related goods are also scheduled for delivery in January 2022, according to the Korean Embassy.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Philippines’ development partnership with Korea, with the latter’s total contribution to the country reaching USD2.1 billion.

According to the embassy, transportation infrastructure accounts for 47% of Korea’s official development assistance (ODA) to the country, or USD982 million, while disaster risk reduction and humanitarian aid account for 19% or USD410 million.

Another priority sector for Seoul is agriculture, which receives USD358 million in ODA.

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