The Korea UN body, Ethiopian Airlines sign accord for library project





By Lee Min-hyung

To ensure continued support for African countries, a United Nations organization signed an agreement with Ethiopian Airlines at the headquarters of the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), central Seoul, on Monday.

The agreement is part of efforts by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)'s Sustainable Tourism for Eliminating Poverty (ST-EP) Foundation to help African countries suffering from the Ebola virus. Most of those countries are now in desperate need of aid.

The agreement means the library construction project, "Thank You Small Library," will continue for the foreseeable future. The ST-EP Foundation has built 153 libraries in 19 countries as of September, and is now extending its aid project to other countries outside of Africa such as Moldova and Cambodia. The organization was established in Korea a decade ago to provide financial and humanitarian aid to underdeveloped countries.


The project, also supported by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, is part of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDG). These goals aim to reduce extreme poverty by 2015, improve education and stop the spread of the HIV/AIDS virus.

Dho Young-shim, chairwoman of the foundation, delivered a welcoming speech at the KTO headquarters on the importance of education.

"Eradication of poverty is a humanitarian mission that should be resolved no matter how difficult it is, and education is the foundation to be free from prejudice against deadly diseases," she said.

Ethiopian Airlines is the first African airline to have served Incheon International Airport since beginning flights in June of 2013. It currently operates flights to 45 African cities. Solomon Debebe Kebere, Ethiopian Airlines' country general manager in Korea, also joined the event.

A youth choral - comprised of 12 members from both Korea and Ethiopia - sang the popular Korean song "Spring of Hometown" at the end of the ceremony.

A group of ambassadors, including Ethiopian Ambassador to Seoul Dibaba Abdetta, Ghanaian Ambassador Elizabeth Nicol and Rwandan Ambassador Emma Francoise Isumbingabo attended the event.

mhlee@ktimes.co.kr,

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