In the 21st century, some have raised doubts as to whether massive amounts of international aid have really contributed to development in developing countries. As many developing countries have become dependent on aid, rather than achieving self-sustainable growth, a new approach has become necessary to help them enhance their capabilities to overcome poverty on their own.
The development of rural areas is key to eradicating poverty. Korea is the only country in the world that has transformed itself from an aid recipient to a donor country, an achievement made possible by developing rural areas under Saemaul Undong. This is why Saemaul Undong has drawn keen attention from global leaders and international organizations such as the UN. Korea has received requests to share its Saemaul Undong experience from more than 20 nations over the past three years.