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President's Message

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Thank you for visiting the website of the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (KIHASA).

Now an affiliate of the National Research Council for Economics, Humanities and Social Sciences, KIHASA has, in the 45 years since its founding in 1971 as the Korea Institute for Family Planning, expanded its research reach to meet the changing needs of the times.

As today's megatrends of aging population and low fertility are potentially dampening the vitality of the economy and damaging to sustained financing of social welfare, the need is more urgent than ever to develop policy instruments to address these challenges. Throughout the years of Korea's compressed industrialization, the priority was in economic growth, while much less attention was given to the question of how to meet people's welfare needs in the rapidly changing socio-demographic context.

Over the years, the National Basic Livelihood Security has provided income support for Koreans living in poverty. Social insurance schemes have been introduced and expanded. Many a number of social services have been augmented to promote the quality of life of Koreans. All this, however, falls short of keeping pace with the rapid pace of changes in population and family structure. Demands for health and social welfare are diverse and springing up across our society, calling for moving away from the current fragmented approaches to an integrated, client-oriented welfare system. Also, as the economy is downshifting to a low-growth gear, it is all the more important that these programs are planned and delivered in an efficient manner.

Despite having spent more on social security than on any other area of public expenditures in the process of its unification, Germany, a quarter-century on, is still seen as leaving much to be desired in the way of social integration. This attests to the importance of social protection in preparing for reunification. Korea is going all out to turn its future reunification into an opportunity. As a way of taking part in this effort, KIHASA strives to develop a social protection system that integrates and coordinates various programs.

KIHASA will keep committing its research capacity to the development and assessment of health and welfare policies, to forward-looking expenditure projections, and to the development of a welfare model that best reflects Korea's unique circumstances and needs.
Thank you.