The EU on Thursday announced that it had received surgical masks donated by Taiwan and thanked Taiwan for its “gesture of solidarity” in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In these difficult times, international cooperation is crucial. We highly appreciate Taiwan’s gesture of solidarity with its donation of medical masks to the European Union,” EU Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic said in a press release.
One million of the masks, which were a direct donation, are being transferred to Spain and Italy, while the remaining masks are being delivered through bilateral channels to other EU member states, Lenarcic said.
Photo: Screen grab from the Internet
On April 1, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) announced that Taiwan would donate 10 million masks to countries seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The donation allocated 2 million masks to the US; 7 million to be shared by Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the UK; and 1 million to Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
Of the European donations, masks donated to the Netherlands — 600,000, according to the Netherlands Trade and Investment Office — arrived on Tuesday, while the remainder were shipped late on Wednesday and early on Thursday to eight other EU member states, as well as the Holy See, Switzerland and the UK, the ministry said.
On Thursday, the ministry announced a second donation of masks to be allocated to countries hard hit by the pandemic in Europe, the Americas and Southeast Asia.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday said that masks sent to the nation’s diplomatic allies in Central America had arrived.
“Our assistance to allies in Central America has arrived safely. The people of Taiwan are proud to help friends in times of need,” Wu wrote on Twitter.
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