Daily life has grown increasingly difficult for the homeless, economically and in other ways, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, charity group Homeless Taiwan said.
Homeless Taiwan secretary-general Lee Ying-tzi (李盈姿) on Wednesday said that while the group has received enough monetary donations to operate shelters and enough supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer, to make them available to homeless people at the facilities, life has become tougher for many homeless people.
A survey conducted by the charity group found that nearly 70 percent of homeless people are employed, mostly in temporary jobs such as handing out leaflets and holding advertising signs, she said.
However, their job opportunities have in the past few months dwindled due to the pandemic, while fewer charity groups have provided them free meals and supplies since the outbreak of the virus, she said.
Without the charities, homeless people might not even have access to masks, she added.
To improve public understanding of the challenges homeless people face, Homeless Taiwan held a photography exhibition at Taipei’s Bopiliao Historic Block, highlighting the stories of homeless people. The exhibition concluded yesterday.
One of the people who told his story, a homeless man who goes by the name Mr Airplane, said that life was hard before the pandemic, but his income from selling the Taiwanese edition of the street magazine The Big Issue has since fallen to NT$5,000 a month.
He said the drop in sales is likely caused by changes in the economy and people’s reading habits amid the pandemic.
The charity group would also hold a 36-hour event starting on Saturday to allow 25 people to experience living on the street, Homeless Taiwan said.
921 EARTHQUAKE: The magnitude 7.3 quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged The Central Weather Bureau yesterday received about 50,000 views on Facebook after it posted the data that it collected on Sept. 21, 1999, when the nation was devastated by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. The data showed that the 921 Earthquake hit the nation at 1:47am, with the epicenter being 7km southwest of the bureau’s quake detection center in Nantou County’s Yuchi Township (魚池) at a depth of 8km. The quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged, with the cost of the damage estimated at NT$300 billion (US$10.8 billion at the current
British newspaper The Mail on Sunday reported that Prince Charles met with Bruno Wang (汪家興), a Taiwanese fugitive who describes himself as a Chinese philanthropist and donated ￡500,000 (US$683,522) to the prince’s charity, the Prince’s Foundation. The newspaper reported that Wang is wanted in Taiwan on charges related to money laundering and being a fugitive from justice, allegations he denies, and drew comparisons between Wang and the Russian banker Dmitry Leus. Investigation and cooperation with foreign authorities have found that Bruno Wang’s father, Andrew Wang (汪傳浦), had stashed proceeds from a scandal involving the procurement of Lafayette frigates in 61 bank accounts,
AT ODDS: The KMT called on the government to seek bilateral dialogue with Beijing to resolve the issue that led to the ban on custard apple and wax apple imports Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials and lawmakers yesterday condemned China’s sudden ban on imports of custard apples and wax apples from Taiwan as “obvious political retaliation,” while the opposition called for a scientific investigation into Beijing’s claim to have found pests in imports of the fruits. China earlier yesterday announced a ban on the importation of the two fruits from today, citing repeated discoveries of Planococcus minor, a type of mealybug. The announcement follows a similar ban on Taiwanese pineapples imposed in February. At least Beijing gave a few days’ notice when it banned pineapple imports, an unnamed government official said yesterday. This time
BY OTHER MEANS: China could see CPTPP membership as a means of circumventing trade restrictions imposed by the US, amid an ongoing trade dispute between them The US could invoke a clause in its trade agreement with Canada and Mexico to block China’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a government official said yesterday. Under Article 32.10 of the Exceptions and General Provisions of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), if either Canada or Mexico enter a free-trade agreement with a nonmarket economy — such as China — the US could withdraw from the agreement. “If that clause applies to multilateral free-trade agreements such as the CPTPP — which Mexico and Canada are members of — that might be cause for the two