Wed, Oct 24, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Nicaragua hails programs moved from El Salvador

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Six aid programs originally designed for El Salvador have been transferred to Nicaragua to help improve agricultural and aquaculture technologies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

The launch of the programs was announced at an Oct. 8 ceremony in Managua presided over by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and Ambassador to Nicaragua Wu Chin-mu (吳進木), Department of International Cooperation and Economic Affairs Deputy Director-General Tsai Yun-chung (蔡允中) told a news conference in Taipei.

The programs, which were in operation in El Salvador from 2015 to last year, focused on family-run aquatic farming, marine fish farming, vegetable and fruit plantation, commercial agricultural production, developing the “one town, one product” concept and geographic information systems.

The decision to transfer the programs to Nicaragua was made after the government in Managua said it was willing to take them over after Taiwan and El Salvador broke diplomatic relations on Aug. 21.

Shortly afterward, Nicaraguan Ambassador to Taiwan William Tapia told the Taipei Times that he had told Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Jose Maria Liu (劉德立) that his government hoped Taiwan would consider transferring the projects to his nation.

Taiwan has a 20-person team of specialists in Nicaragua, the largest such delegation, Tsai said, adding that Nicaragua is now home to the largest number of cooperation programs of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies.

International Cooperation and Development Fund (Taiwan ICDF) Secretary-General Timothy Hsiang (項恬毅) said his organization had consulted with Nicaraguan government agencies ahead of the move to ensure a smooth transfer.

The timelines and budgets for the six programs would not change, but it might be possible to extend them, based on their results, Hsiang said.

The Taiwan ICDF, which handles foreign aid programs, said the total budget for the programs in Nicaragua is NT$90 million (US$2.9 million) and they are scheduled for completion by 2021.

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