April 9, 2020
The government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) announced on April 1 that it was initiating a first wave of international humanitarian assistance in response to the continued spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, donating 10 million medical masks and other medical supplies to the US, Europe, and diplomatic allies. This has drawn praise and recognition from around the world.
The masks donated to Taiwan’s diplomatic allies have already been shipped. Preparations for donations to the US are also proceeding smoothly, and will be explained separately by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Masks donated to the Netherlands arrived in Amsterdam on April 7, while those destined for other European countries were shipped on the evening of April 8 and early morning of April 9 and will be delivered to the EU member states Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, and Spain, as well as the Holy See, Switzerland, and the UK. These shipments will meet urgent demand for masks among frontline medical personnel, other relevant groups, and clergy who are in frequent contact with their flock.
The completion within one week of relevant operations for this first wave of assistance announced on April 1 once again highlights the spirit of “Taiwan can help!” Indeed, the delivery of these urgently needed Taiwan-made medical supplies offers timely assistance to people in the US, Europe, and diplomatic allies. The significance of these shipments was further accentuated by the fact that they took place in just one week since its announcement, and within the parameter of celebrating World Health Day.
Following this first wave, MOFA today announced a second wave of international humanitarian assistance. Taiwan will once again donate medical masks to support countries hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of six million masks will be shipped to EU member states in Northern, Central, and Eastern Europe, more severely affected states in the US, countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, partner countries under Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy, and other friendly nations. Taiwan has also held discussions with Japan on donations to that country. Further announcements will be made when these discussions lead to concrete outcomes.
Epidemic prevention and containment transcend national borders. Countries cannot fight COVID-19 alone. A strong defense against the disease can only be built through close mutual assistance for mutual benefit. As the international community endeavors to strengthen mechanisms to combat COVID-19, Taiwan stands willing and able to collaborate with other countries, and plays a role indispensable in overcoming the pandemic. Taiwan will continue to take concrete and substantive measures to show that Taiwan can help and Taiwan is helping, demonstrate the compassion and determination of its government and people, and reaffirm its sincere commitment to participating in international affairs. (E)
April 9, 2020