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Korea - World Bank Group Partnership Facility

About the Program

The Korea- World Bank Partnership Facility (KWPF), established in May 2013, is an initiative to strengthen ties between Korea’s Ministry of Economy and Finance (MoEF) and the World Bank. The facility’s overall objective is to assist developing member countries of the World bank in achieving inclusive and sustainable economic growth and to foster broader dialogue on economic development issues. Through this Facility, the Government of Korea has provided US$90 million during FY14-FY16 (Phase I), US$90 million during FY17-FY19 (Phase II), and a replenishment of US$150 million from FY20 through FY23 (Phase III).

The Facility is structured to comprise of three pillars of collaboration:

  • Financing for Global and Regional WBG Programs (Window 1), a “pass through” window through which funding for WBG managed global programs across a range of global development initiatives flows;
  • Co-financing of WBG Country Investments (Window 2) which provides funding for WBG lending projects that are closely aligned with Korea’s policy of international economic cooperation as well as the WBG’s relevant country and thematic strategies; and
  • Generation and Transfer of Development Knowledge (Window 3), which supports WBG technical assistance, project identification, capacity building and knowledge exchange activities undertaken in close collaboration with Korean organizations that seek to leverage Korea’s development experience to develop cross-regional learning, research, and knowledge exchange.

The Facility is managed with a significant emphasis on results, and seeks to support World Bank projects that are designed to maximize development impact. In doing so, the Facility emphasizes strong alignment with the World Bank’s lending operations and strategic policy dialogue, as well as on sharing Korea’s development experiences with developing countries. The program also has a focus on involving Korean institutional partners in sharing Korea’s development experience with developing countries.

The KWPF Secretariat is housed within the Trust Funds and Partner Relations unit of the Development Finance Vice Presidency (DFi) at the World Bank. The Secretariat organizes Annual Consultations with MoEF to discuss the objectives, design and operation of the program, agree upon the thematic and regional priorities for each of the calls for proposals, and review the implementation progress of the program.




The Korea-World Bank Partnership Facility (KWPF) supports a broad range of economic development opportunities with a focus on promoting best practices by leveraging the WBG’s knowledge and convening power and Korea’s expertise. KWPF is funding activities in various stages of implementation that are demonstrating some promising early results.  During FY 17–18, Window 2 has financed projects mainly in Energy and Social, Urban and Rural Development to complement those projects financed in preceding calls and in Social Protection and Private Sector Development. In other innovations, the KWPF has allocated support in sectors that are new for the Facility to support. For example, Sierra Leone: Designing public spaces as productive economic assets through tourism for US$0.747 million targets the tourism sector. Also, the KWPF has increased support to recovery from Fragility, Conflict and Violence, an example of this being a US$5 million grant for the development of a national spatial strategy in Afghanistan. Window 3 is funding innovative technical assistance/policy dialog, capacity building, proof of concept, applied research, and knowledge exchange activities that task teams can implement relatively quickly and are contributing effectively to larger development goals. 

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    For COVID and Coverage: Financing Reforms are Critical for Better Health in Armenia

    Pre-paid and pooled funds must be allocated effectively for better quality services and improved health outcomes. Armenia knows this well. To mitigate these challenges, essential maternal and child health services were made universally accessible. The State Health Agency was established to pay providers for service delivery outputs instead of inputs, which effectively contributed to improved maternal and child health. Decades later, in 2020, Armenia has turned to similar policies in response to COVID-19. Physicians receive bonuses for additional time spent on COVID-related care, hospitals are paid daily tariffs for beds used for COVID-19 cases, and special rates for services for children and pregnant women are aimed at preventing their neglect by busy providers. The state also guarantees coverage for all COVID-related care, so that financial barriers do not facilitate spread of the disease. The Ministry of Health is championing universal health coverage reforms. These reforms, including strategic purchasing, are aimed at enabling every citizen to access essential high-quality healthcare. To facilitate the successful implementation of these reforms, the World Bank team has supported high-level policy discussions, reviewed relevant purchasing experience in other countries, and developed a report with recommendations to improve health sector allocations. This technical assistance was funded by the Korea-World Bank Partnership Facility.
  • Supporting Digitization of Land Administration in Laos

    Lao PDR’s has experienced rapid economic development since the early 2000s, which is largely driven by the natural resource sector. However, few benefits of this growth have reached the country’s rural areas where poverty still prevails. As one of its strategies to address this development gap, the Government of Lao PDR is focusing on improving land tenure security in the rural areas to remove barriers of future growth, while simultaneously addressing issues of social tension and exclusion. The Korea-World Bank Partnership Facility (KWPF) will help facilitate project preparation and digital transformation of the land administration sector by assessing the status and providing recommendations for enhancing (i) the existing ICT infrastructure and land information system; (ii) use of digital technologies in first-time registration and delivery of subsequent land administration services; and (iii) integration of the land administration system into national e-government developments.
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    Global Smart City Partnership Program

    The Role of KWPF in supporting Smart City Partnership
    Korea-World Bank Partnership Facility (KWPF) through a US$1,900,000 grant, transfers the concept of smart cities globally, facilitates learning from Korea’s experience, and helps develop selective smart city best practices as a building block for sustainable urban development. The objective is to make the best use of data, technology and available resources to improve city planning, management, and service delivery as well as to engage citizens and enhance accountability. This effort involves supporting frameworks and approaches for smart cities drawing from practical examples and by applications of specific how-to tools.
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    Internet of Things (IoT) for Agriculture

    How the Internet of Things helps smallholder paddy farmers use water more efficiently
    Paddy cultivation emits over 10 percent of global agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and consumes 21 percent of the total water volume used for global crop production. Water is increasingly scarce in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, which has been hit by record droughts in recent years. Solutions that help farmers like Pham Van Tuan to grow rice while drastically reducing GHG emission and water usage would be a game-changer for the Mekong Delta. Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) is one such practice where rice fields are alternately flooded and dried, and water levels kept low during the flooded stage. This irrigation practice reduces water use up to 28 percent and methane emissions up to 48 percent. The Korea World Bank Partnership Facility financed a pilot to apply Internet of Things (IoT) technology to address some of the challenges farmers face when applying Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD)
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    Global Cyber Security Capacity Program Phase I and II

    Strengthening national cyber security environment of selected developing countries
    The Global Cybersecurity Capacity Program, which was generously financed by the Korea World Bank Partnership Facility (KWPF) between 2016 and 2019, is one of the key initiatives that the World Bank has taken in an attempt to bridge existing gaps in cyber security capacities of its client countries. Thanks to tailored national and regional technical assistance schemes, this Program has helped to strengthen cybersecurity capacities and awareness in six countries, namely Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of North Macedonia in the Western Balkan region, Ghana in West Africa, the Kyrgyz Republic in Central Asia, and Myanmar in Southeast Asia. The objective was to benefit a selected sample of countries globally, especially those preparing or implementing investment projects with potential to integrate financing for cyber security.
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    Youth Employment in the Animation Industry in Jamaica

    Jamaica is seeking to continue the growth of its animation sector efforts are being made to forge lasting collaborative relationships with other regions. This activity aims to facilitate an exchange between Korea and Jamaica, which would allow Jamaica to learn from Korea’s extensive experience in nurturing and sustaining its successful globally-competitive animation industry, while allowing Korea to extend its brand in a tangible way, promoting trade with the Caribbean region and establishing partnerships to expedite industry growth.
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    Partnering for Skills Development in East Asia and the Pacific

    East Asia and the Pacific countries are among the fastest growing economies in the world. Growth is particularly dynamic in the industry and service sectors. As countries’ economies become increasingly more developed, East Asia and the Pacific is confronted with critical skills challenges. The Korea-World Bank Partnership Facility-funded Skills and Job Creation Program has the ultimate aim of building skills and the capacity to create jobs for ongoing development across East Asia Pacific. It supports a variety of learning events, skills exchanges, and annual forums to advocate for, and share best practices on, accelerating the creation of a critical mass of highly skilled young professionals and innovators in East Asia Pacific.
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    Developing a Partnership between Korea and Africa for Human Resource and Skills Development in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET)

    PASET is an initiative owned and led by African countries formed in 2013 in response to the critical need to strengthen the scientific and technological capacity of Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, to advance their development and economic transformation. To achieve this goal, PASET espouses collaboration between African governments, the private sector, development partners, and new partner countries from Asia (including Korea) and Latin America
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    World Bank - Korea cooperation on ICT and education issues

    The World Bank enjoys a productive, multi-year strategic partnership with the Republic of Korea exploring a wide range of issues related to the use of information and communications technologies (ICT) in education. Under this partnership, the World Bank works closely with the Korean Education and Research Information Service (KERIS) as the key counterpart organization in Korea. Highlights of this partnership include an annual global symposium on ICT use in education (GSIE), which, over the course of its ten year history, has helped to establish Korea as a global hub for insight, knowledge sharing and networking for high level government officials, practitioners and experts around topics related to the use of new technologies in education. In addition, partnership with Korea has been instrumental to a veriety of activities under the World Bank's SABER-ICT initiative, including developing globally comparable, national ICT and education indicators, mapping ICT/education policies around the world, and supporting the World Bank Education, Technology & Innovation: SABER-ICT Technical Paper Series.
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    Combating Cybercrime: Tools and Capacity Building for Emerging Economies

    This project comprises of four principal components: i) development of a Toolkit on capacity building to combat cybercrime (in a book and web format); ii) completion of a Cybercrime Capacity Building Assessment; iii) development of a “virtual library” of best practices in the area of combatting cybercrime; and iv) in-country assessments. The project has conducted best practice research through meetings and consultations with project partners – the Council of Europe (OCTOPUS), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and Oxford University – as well as the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and European Police Office (Europol). Participation in cybercrime events and consultations with these and other relevant organizations has validated the project approach and design, and served as input into the Toolkit, validating demand by developing countries for the kind of knowledge “portal” that the Toolkit will provide, including the value of the in-country assessments provided by the Assessment Tool. The Korea Supreme Prosecutor’s Office (KSPO) contribution was instrumental. The Toolkit is a knowledge product that will be available in hard-copy and electronic format. It will act as a “portal” of best practices in the legal aspects of fighting cybercrime, with links to project partners’ materials and the “virtual library” being established. The Toolkit will include the Assessment, and will be available as a stand-alone product on the Project website. Together, the Toolkit, Assessment Tool and Virtual Library will be available as global public good.
A Partnership Committed to Sharing Development Excellence

The Trust Funds and Partner Relations unit of the Development Finance Vice Presidency (DFi) at the World Bank Group manages (i) the Korea-World Bank Partnership Facility (KWPF), (ii) the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF)-World Bank (WB) Co-financing Facility, and (iii) the Knowledge Sharing Program (KSP)-WB Joint Consulting Program.

Korea, an aid recipient less than two decades ago, is now a donor with an increasingly coherent and coordinated Official Development Assistance (ODA) strategy utilizing expertise of relevant ministries. The Ministry of Economy and Finance (MoEF) aims to link its various ODA programs including (i) bilateral development cooperation through the EDCF, and (ii) development programming through partnerships with Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) via Trust Funds (TFs) and the Green Climate Fund. MoSF aims to effectively transfer Korea’s expertise and experience to recipient Countries with high development demand in cooperation with the World Bank Group (WBG) through TFs such as KWPF, a Co-Financing Agreement between EDCF and WB, and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Joint Consulting under Korea’s KSP.

KWPF aims to share Korea’s successful development experience with developing countries through collaboration between the Bank, the Government of Korea, and Korean organizations. Since the inception of the Facility, the dialogue and collaboration between WBG project teams and many Korea institutions is ongoing in the agriculture, health, ICT, and skills development sectors. Every approved grant under Windows 2 and 3 strives for engagement/collaboration with at least one Korean institution/expert. 

Partner Programs
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    Economic Development Cooperation Fund

    The Government of Korea established the EDCF in June 1987 with the aim of providing concessional loans to assist developing countries achieve economic development. As of December 2016, EDCF has committed US$13.2 billion to 375 projects in 53 countries. In April 2015, an MoU was signed between MoF and the WB expressing the mutual desire to collaborate through various instruments. Pursuant to this MOU, the EDCF-WB Co-financing Facility was established in August 2016 when a Co-financing Framework Agreement (CFA) was signed between Korea’s Export and Import Bank (KEXIM) and the WB, under which EDCF would provide US$ 300 million in joint or parallel co-financing to WB projects in sectors and countries considered high priority by Korea.
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    Knowledge Sharing Program (KSP)

    KSP was launched in 2004 to share Korea’s development experience with developing countries. It began with bilateral TA or consultations with developing countries and later expanded to joint consultations with international organizations. KEXIM is the implementing agency of the KSP Joint Consulting with International Organizations. MoF and the WB signed a MoU on September 21, 2011 to undertake joint consulting activities. KSP joint consultation provides in-kind resources including a team of Korean experts from Korean institutions and/or consulting firms for WB projects. There have been 19 KSP-WB Joint-Consultation activities approved to date.

  • Annual Reports

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  • Other Publications

  • Strategic Purchasing for Better Health in Armenia

    This report is an activity under the technical support towards universal health coverage in Armenia, which includes advisory services and analytics aimed at supporting the government’s efforts to expand access to high-quality health care. The report, Strategic Purchasing for Better Health in Armenia, draws on an adaptation of the strategic purchasing progress framework to examine the country’s experience in purchasing healthcare, identify contextual factors that limit the potential of purchasing to reform healthcare, and integrate these findings with relevant global examples of strategic purchasing reforms. The authors conclude the report with tailored recommendations for strategic purchasing that can improve population health.
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    Scaling Up Disruptive Agricultural Technologies in Africa

    Sub-Saharan Africa’s agri-food system is critical for the region’s economic growth, poverty reduction, food security and nutrition, and employment. Agriculture contributes about 15 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) growth in SSA. However, the agri-food system is characterized by several challenges that are impeding its ability to achieve a higher growth trajectory and to generate greater agri-food outcomes. Disruptive technologies have the potential to help address many of these challenges. Disruptive technologies in agriculture consist of digital and technical innovations that enable farmers and agribusiness entrepreneurs to leapfrog current methods to increase their productivity, efficiency, and competitiveness, thereby facilitating access to markets, improving nutritional outcomes, and enhancing resilience to climate change. Recognizing the potential of DATs to accelerate the efficiency, equity, and sustainability of agri-food systems, African governments are seeking to understand the nature of these technologies, their impact, and their constraints. This study—including a pilot intervention in Kenya—aims to further the state of knowledge about the emerging trend of DATs in Africa, with a focus on supply-side dynamics. The study is the first in a series of analytical studies and operations on disruptive agricultural technology in Sub-Saharan Africa that will contribute to regional integration through knowledge sharing and collective policies and investments to transform agriculture. If governments and development partners come together to drive this agenda in Sub-Saharan Africa, there is potential to create multiplier effects through trade, market access, and a regional innovation ecosystem.
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    Support for Digital Switchover in Developing Countries

    Opportunities, Challenges and Recommendations for Enabling Digital Dividend – Project Final Report
    Transition from analog to digital TV broadcasting, or digital switchover (DSO), enables dig¬ital broadcasting with better image and sound quality, and ensures more resilient reception in adverse weather conditions, using a much smaller portion of radio spectrum resources. Completing the DSO process therefore frees up a sizeable portion of the radio spectrum: this is referred to as the digital dividend (DD), and it is one of a country's most important resources. It can provide an opportunity for governments to generate substantive revenue through spectrum auctions targeting mobile operators. Increased access for mobile operators also results in increased national connectivity at lower prices, while the revenue generated from spectrum auctions can be leveraged into technological investments, developing a “virtuous cycle” that can help accelerate and establish a country's digital economy. Within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of access to information in the form of televised national free-to-air emergency briefings and distance learning have been recognized. In addition, the freed-up digital dividend also potentially opens up substantive resources for responding to the pandemic, including opening up emergency communication frequencies, providing additional surge bandwidth to support work-from-home technologies, increasing media consumption, and utilizing other resources for innovative online alternatives during social distancing restrictions. This report presents the global status of digital terrestrial TV (DTT) broadcasting and identifies both common and country-specific bottlenecks for DSO delays. Based on analysis of the bottlenecks, the report provides actionable recommendations on how to resolve these delays as part of the World Bank Group's Advisory Services and Analytics (ASA) activity, ‘Support for Digital Switchover in Developing Countries.'
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    The World Bank Group (WBG) Partnership Fund for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG fund) Annual Report 2019

    Promoting best practices and knowledge sharing for the implementation of the SDGs under the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
    The SDG fund responds to the growing demand for strategic initiatives that drive the achievement of SDGs on the means of implementation. To date, the Government of Sweden and the Government of Korea are committed partners of the SDG fund. To date, the SDG fund has received and reviewed nearly 100 high-caliber proposals. The first round, finalized in October 2018, allocated funding to three activities selected from a pool of approximately 16 strategic proposals put forward by WBG Directors. The second round, finalized in March 2019, allocated funding to 12 activities, based on an open call issued across the WBG seeking investment opportunities for strengthening SDG achievement. The two reviewing rounds generated a range of innovative and ambitious projects. The SDG fund has also supported strategic initiatives to further strengthen the fund’s objectives. This report covers a nine-month period, from October 2018 to June 2019, with disbursements starting in January 2019.
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    Global Cyber-security Capacity Program: Lessons Learned and Recommendations towards strengthening the Program

    This publication outlines key milestones and learning of the Global Cybersecurity Capacity Program (2016-2019), implemented in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ghana, Kyrgyz Republic, Myanmar, and North Macedonia, through the partnerships with the Global Cybersecurity Center for Development (GCCD) of Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) and the Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre (GCSCC) of University of Oxford. The Program, financed by the Korea World Bank Group Partnership Facility (KWPF), supported national cybersecurity assessments, capacity building, and technical assistances in the countries with existing and (or) planned investment projects with potential to integrate financing for cybersecurity. The publication aims to distill key lessons and provide high-level recommendations for similar programs at the World Bank Group and beyond. It may be of particular interest to development practitioners and policymakers from developed and emerging economies
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    PASET 5-year Progress Report

    May 2019
    A report detailing progress in the first five years of Africa’s Partnership in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (ASET).
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    ICT in Agriculture

    Connecting Smallholders to Knowledge, Networks and Institutions
    ICT in Agriculture, Updated Edition is the revised version of the popular ICT in Agriculture e-Sourcebook, first launched in 2011 and designed to support practitioners, decision makers, and development partners who work at the intersection of ICT and agriculture. Our hope is that this updated Sourcebook will be a practical guide to understanding current trends, implementing appropriate interventions, and evaluating the impact of ICT interventions in agricultural programs.
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    Combatting Cybercrime

    Tools and Capacity Building for Emerging Economies
    The Toolkit is a knowledge product available in hard-copy and electronic format. It is a “portal” of best practices in the legal aspects of fighting cybercrime, with links to project partners’ materials and a “virtual library”.
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    Building and Sustaining National Educational Technology Agencies : Lessons, Models and Case Studies from Around the World

    National educational technology agencies (‘ICT/education agencies’, and their functional equivalents) play important roles in the implementation and oversight of large scale initiatives related to the use of information and communication technologies in education in many countries. That said, little is known at a global level about the way these organizations operate, how they are structured, and how they typically evolve over time. By documenting emerging lessons from the histories of various national educational technology agencies and their functional equivalents, which are typically responsible for similar roles but which can differ radically in form by country and over time, it is hoped that this publication can help inform perspectives of decision makers considering how to create and support such an institution, the forms it might take, what roles it might take on, and how these forms and roles might be expected to evolve over time. Case studies from Korea (KERIS), Malaysia (Smart Schools), England (Becta), Chile (Enlaces), Armenia (NaCET), Uruguay (Plan Ceibal); Indonesia (PUSTEKKOM), Costa Rica (Omar Dengo Foundation), Thailand (Schoolnet Thailand), Australia (EdNA) and the Philippines are included, as well as a discussion of general lessons from international experiences, and pointers to other notable institutions around the world.
  • Financing TVET in the East Asia and Pacific Region : Current Status, Challenges and Opportunities

    “Palmer, Robert. 2017. Financing TVET in the East Asia and Pacific Region : Current Status, Challenges and Opportunities. World Bank, Washington, DC. © World Bank.
  • National Qualification Framework and Competency Standards : Skills Promotion and Job Creation in East Asia and Pacific

    “Bateman, Andrea; Liang, Xiaoyan. 2016. National Qualification Framework and Competency Standards : Skills Promotion and Job Creation in East Asia and Pacific. World Bank, Washington, DC. © World Bank

About the KWPF Portfolio

The Government of Korea provided US$90 million during FY14-FY16 (Phase I), US$90 million during FY17-FY19 (Phase II), and a replenishment of US$140 million for FY20 to FY23. The KWPF Secretariat has so far administered four calls for Window 2 and 3 proposals in Phase 1 (calls 1, 2, 3, and 4), and three calls for proposals (calls 5, 6 and 7) under Phase 2.

During Phase 1, the program committed US$9.76 million to Window 2 grants, US$25.17 million to Window 3 grants, and US$50.65 million to Window 1 programs, all together representing 95 percent of the US$90 million contributions received. For phase 2, KWPF approved US$$17.62 million for window 2 grants, US$26.70 million for window 3 grants, and US$35.90 million to Window 1 programs, all together representing 89 percent of the US$90 million contributions received, and $44.53 million to Window 1 programs, all together representing 88 percent of the $90 million contributions received. See list of approved Window 2 and 3 grants here.


Windows 2 and 3, Number of Proposals Received and Grants Approved (FY14–FY20)


Window two has the following sectoral priorities: Agriculture, Education, Health, ICT, Energy, Environment, Transport and Water. The  thematic priorities for Window 3 are - agriculture, skills development and jobs, universal health coverage, and ICT and innovation. The regional focus of KWPF has gradually broadened over time. The first call for Windows 2 and 3 specified countries primarily in South Asia (SAR) and in East Asia and the Pacific (EAP). The second call for Window 2 also specified countries in SAR and EAP, while that for Window 3 specified proposals with a global focus. The third call for Windows 2 and 3 specified all regions, with priority given to country and regional issues in SAR, EAP, and Africa (AFR). The fourth, fifth, and sixth calls for Windows 2 and 3 welcomed proposals from all regions.

The following Window 1 programs have received support from Korea through KWPF

Window 1 Programs
WBI Global Program on Knowledge Sharing SDTF (LLI)
Poverty Dynamics and Public Service Delivery MDTF (Knowledge for Change Program)
Governance Partnership Facility Korea SDTF
IFC Comprehensive Trust Fund
Korea World Bank Group Office Trust Fund
MDTF for Statistical Capacity Building III
Global Facility on Growth for Development SDTF
Korea's Donor Funded Staffing Program*
PEMNA Parallel AA
Digital Development Partnership 
Korea Program for Operational Knowledge SDTF
Korea World Bank Group Office Trust Fund
Regional Initiative for Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology for Africa
World Bank Group Partnership Fund for the SDGs MDTF
GovTech Global Partnership Multi Donor Trust Fund


Press Releases


June 30, 2020 - Conference Explores Strategies for Digital Resilience

June 5, 2020 - World Bank Strengthens Support for Urban Transportation in Bhutan






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