Fri, Jun 28, 2019 - Page 3 News List

MOFA looks to firms for help with foreign aid

Staff writer, with CNA

The government is aiming to work more closely with the private sector to convince companies to donate money to government-funded overseas assistance programs in the wake of a continuous reduction of the budget, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday.

The government is spending less on official development assistance (ODA), which is defined as government aid designed to promote the economic development and welfare of developing nations, Department of International Cooperation and Economic Affairs Director-General Phoebe Yeh (葉非比) said.

A long-standing UN target is that developed nations should devote 0.7 percent of their gross national income to ODA, but Taiwan only spent US$300 million on ODA last year, about 0.051 percent of gross national income compared with 0.28 percent for Japan and 0.15 percent for South Korea, Yeh said.

Taiwan only spent 0.056 percent on ODA in 2017, she added.

She attributed to the significant drop in ODA to a US$6.24 million decrease in the budget allocated to foreign aid.

Therefore, TaiwanICDF, a ministry-funded agency that runs the nation’s foreign aid programs, has visited a number of local enterprises to persuade them to join ICDF-initiated foreign aid projects, she said.

Through technical cooperation, the government is hoping that the private sector can see the business potential in the foreign aid projects, mostly in the nation’s diplomatic allies in Latin America and Africa, she added.

TaiwanICDF deputy secretary-genberal Shyy Lih-jiun (史力軍) said the agency is also working hand-in-hand with international non-governmental organizations to launch joint projects to save government funds.

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