Taiwan has helped its diplomatic ally Belize develop an early warning system for floods to boost its resilience against natural disasters, the International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) said yesterday.
The ICDF, affiliated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is tasked with aiding developing partner countries.
The Central American country lies is in a coastal region and faces multiple threats from disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, extreme rainfall and droughts, ICDF deputy secretary-general Alex Shyy (史立軍) told a news briefing at the ministry in Taipei.
Nearly 70 percent of Belize’s population live in low-lying areas, with annual losses from hurricanes and floods accounting for nearly 7 percent of its GDP, Shyy said.
Taiwan last year launched a project to help improve Belize’s urban resilience and disaster prevention capability, and a flood warning system started trial runs on June 15, he said.
Based on Taiwan’s “smart” disaster prevention techniques and experiences, the ICDF helped Belize integrate weather, hydrological and geographical data scattered over different agencies and develop tools to simulate the scope of areas that might be flooded, he said.
Technical mission personnel also helped establish hydrological and meteorological monitoring stations in areas that lack adequate data, employed uncrewed aerial vehicles to survey lands and measured local hydraulic facilities to collect data, the agency said.
The Taiwan Association of Disaster Prevention Industry and the US-based Pan American Development Foundation are its partner agencies in the project, it said.
The ICDF is also considering promoting the early warning system to other countries, it added.
In related news, Ambassador to Belize Remus Chen (陳立國) last week represented the government in donating medical supplies and relief funds through the Belize Mayors’ Association to help local officials contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
The donation package included 200,000 Belize dollars (US$98,840) to support the food and relief programs, 90,000 made-in-Taiwan surgical masks and 150 forehead thermometers, the Embassy in Belize said on Facebook on Saturday last week.
Taiwan and Belize last year celebrated the 30th anniversary of their relations.
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