An international forum sponsored by Taiwan Overseas Aid (TOAID) opened in Taipei yesterday for executives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to exchange expertise and experience in post-disaster relief and long-term humanitarian aid work.
"The fourth East Asia Forum brings together 120 international aid project managers from more than 10 countries to discuss aid operation strategies and methods with an aim to upgrade the quality of international aid service," a TOAID spokesman said.
Keynote speakers at the two-day forum will include French and Japanese emergency relief and long-term aid experts, as well as executives of the five TOAID member organizations, the spokesman said.
The five NGOs that form TOAID are Compassion International Taiwan, the Eden Social Welfare Foundation, the Field Relief Agency of Taiwan, the Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation and the Taiwan Root Medical Peace Corps.
Topics on the agenda include emergency relief and long-term aid for landmine victims, key policy formulation for emergency medical aid, interaction between NGOs and government organizations, review of major aid projects as well as philanthropy, ethics and obstacles to international aid, the spokesman said.
Noting that Taiwanese NGOs have become increasingly active in international disaster relief operations in recent years, the spokesman said that many local NGOs organized volunteer teams to take part in aid work in the wake of the South Asian tsunami in 2004, the devastating earthquake in Pakistan in 2005 and a similarly deadly temblor in Indonesia in May last year.
While Taiwanese NGOs had contributed much to international humanitarian relief campaigns, the spokesman said Taiwan had yet to mature as a provider of aid.
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