South Korea's foreign ministry announced on Monday that its budget for next year has been set at slightly more than 3-trillion Korean won, or around 2.5-4 billion U.S. dollars.
This up 5.8 percent from this year's budget and it's the first time that the budget has surpassed 3 trillion Korean won.
Next year's budget includes a 16-percent increase in official development assistance set at around 940-million dollars.
The large increase is mainly due to a hundred million dollars set aside for the COVAX advance market commitment which provides funding for an equal amount of COVID-19 vaccines to more than 90 low-and-middle-income countries.
The ODA budget also included around 7.4 million dollars of medical supplies for Romania.
Back in September, the Korean government received more than one-million Moderna vaccine doses from Romania in exchange for medical supplies.
The ministry said the budget has been decided in order for South Korea to play its role as a responsible member of the international community.
Also, around 2.1 million dollars has been set aside to establish a new 'Economic Security Center' to handle global supply chain issues and detect risks at an early stage.
Through this, the government aims to tackle issues such as the recent urea water shortage crisis and better respond to the intensifying rivalry between the U.S. and China.
Bae Eun-ji, Arirang News.