South Korea has joined a key donor group of the International Committee of the Red Cross for the first time after making major contributions last year, the humanitarian organization said Sunday.
The country was recently included in the ICRC's 2023 Donor Support Group, which consists of donors contributing more than 10 million Swiss francs ($11 million) a year, after it contributed 10.5 million Swiss francs to the ICRC last year, according to the ICRC's office in Seoul.
Other than South Korea, the ICRC's major donor group for this year also includes 20 other countries, such as the United States, Germany and Switzerland, as well as the European Commission.
As a member of the donor group, South Korea will be able to take part in high-level talks with the ICRC on its policies and projects, raising expectations for Seoul's possible involvement in the ICRC's projects in North Korea.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ICRC operated an office with 11 personnel in Pyongyang for various humanitarian projects, such as those on health, sanitation, physical rehabilitation and demining efforts.
The organization has yet to send its personnel back to North Korea after it pulled them out after the reclusive country implemented strict border restrictions against the pandemic in early 2020. (Yonhap)
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