Taiwan has emerged as a major contributor of humanitarian aid in the world, through post-disaster relief efforts and partnerships that help Latin American countries better prepare for natural disasters, Pan American Development Foundation executive director John Sanbrailo said.
Under President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), Taiwan has been seeking to enhance its contributions to the international community through humanitarian aid to disaster-prone areas, Sanbrailo wrote in a report titled “Taiwan Expands Disaster Assistance in the Americas” that appeared in the Latin Business Chronicle on Friday.
As an example of the policy, Taiwan and the foundation have partnered to create strategies that fuse information technology and community-based solutions to reduce the impacts of natural disasters such as floods in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and in hillside communities in Honduras, he wrote.
Taiwan sent medical aid to Haitian children after Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, among other efforts it made to help the country get back on its feet, he wrote.
Taiwan was also the first nation to send emergency relief supplies and rescue teams to Japan after it was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011, he added.
Another major contribution to the Latin American region is the creation of a platform allowing experts to share experiences and exchange ideas on disaster responses, he wrote.
At a recent seminar in Nicaragua coorganized by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, experts from Taiwan, Central America and the Caribbean showcased how new mapping technologies could help disaster-prone areas better prepare for and respond to disasters, he said.
Sanbrailo praised Taiwan’s expertise in disaster relief and its application in the region, saying Taiwan is playing an increasingly significant role there through these humanitarian projects.