Fri, Feb 08, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Taiwan donates US$500,000 to assist Yazidis

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Representative to the US Stanley Kao speaks during a ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS at the US Department of State hosted by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday.

Photo: Courtesy of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US

Taiwan has donated US$500,000 to help fund an initiative that offers humanitarian assistance to Yazidis, an ethnic minority in Iraq persecuted by the Islamic State (IS) group, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US said in a statement yesterday.

Representative to the US Stanley Kao (高碩泰) on Wednesday made the donation on behalf of the nation at a ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS at the US Department of State, the office said, adding that US President Donald Trump gave an opening address at the meeting.

In his speech to the representatives of 79 nations and international organizations in the coalition, Kao said that Taiwan would continue to work closely with the US and other countries sharing similar values to face global and regional challenges.

The nation’s pledge to provide US$500,000 for humanitarian aid in Iraq was applauded by the coalition’s special envoy, James Jeffrey, and other State Department officials during the meeting, the office said.

The donation is to be used to fund “Nadia’s initiative,” which was created by last year’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Yazidi activist Nadia Murad, to offer humanitarian aid to Yazidis.

Aside from the US, the initiative is also supported by the UK, France and the UN, he said.

Murad, who survived imprisonment and torture by the IS, personally thanked Kao for the nation’s generous donation, the office said.

Taiwan joined the coalition in October 2014, the office said, adding that it has since donated more than US$32 million to aid refugees in Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Turkey who have been displaced by the wars with the IS.

The funds have been used to build 350 prefabricated homes and one mobile hospital, as well as clear landmines, help relieve the refugee crisis and reduce the risk of the IS’ resurgence in those countries, the office said.

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