Staff seconded to Handicap International: 8 persons (KFPD partner staff).
Expatriate staff: 2 permanent full-time staff members and experts in rehabilitation and orthopaedics (short missions, education consultants on short missions).
Handicap International’s overall aim in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is to strengthen and assist the Korean Federation for the Protection of the Disabled (KFPD). The goal of this partnership is to advance the equal opportunities, rights and involvement of people with disabilities as active citizens in their own country.
In 2005, the Korean government announced that the country no longer needed international aid. Most humanitarian operators then left the country. Only six NGOs (including Handicap International) were authorised to continue their actions under the European Union Programme Support (EUPS).
Each organisation conducts its activities in partnership with local ministries. Handicap International works in close collaboration with the KFPD and is one of the only humanitarian operators from civil society working in partnership with an institution.
Handicap International launched its operations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea at the request of the Korean Federation for the Protection of the Disabled (KFPD) in 1998. Our different activities included supporting the Hamhung orthopaedic-fitting workshop. Since 2004, the KFPD and Handicap International have also been collaborating in the field of sensory disability. After working alongside the KFPD for more than ten years, Handicap International now places a greater emphasis on institutional support, and the organisation has gradually reduced its direct involvement in the projects.
Looking to the future, the partnership between Handicap International and KFPD should continue until 2013. One challenge will be to ensure the KFPD’s financial sustainability. Handicap International would also like to give greater visibility to the issue of disability and to ensure that this subject is incorporated into national policies.