Wed, Mar 18, 2009 - Page 3 News List

President vows to reach out to relief groups worldwide

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday promised to examine the nation’s international relief policy and seek cooperation with international aid groups to promote relief work abroad.

“We are hoping to establish contacts with international relief groups and promote relief work together. With their experience and resources, I believe those groups can help us reach out to more places,” Ma said.

FOOD FOR THE POOR

Ma made the remarks when meeting Robin Mahfood, president of Food for the Poor (FFP), a leading international relief and development charity based in the US, at the Presidential Office yesterday.

The FFP has for several years cooperated with Taiwan in providing rice and other agricultural products to several countries in Central and South America, including Haiti.

However, Taiwan’s donations of rice to Haiti were reduced after recent typhoons cut the nation’s rice yield in Taiwan, Ma said.

Taiwan has been donating hundreds of tonnes of rice to Haiti every month, and the FFP was responsible for the transportation and distribution costs in Haiti.

POLICY

Ma said his administration was reviewing its international relief policy in order to boost the nation’s reputation.

The nation’s current international relief policy is aimed at promoting Taiwanese experience and providing aid to countries in need.

The president lauded the FFP for its long-term efforts in providing NT$4.8 billion (US$140 million) in aid to countries over the past 10 years, and said Taiwan would seek to work with more international relief groups and provide aid to more countries.

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