May 5, 2020
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is launching a third wave of international humanitarian assistance in response to the continued spread of the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, donating 7.07 million face masks to the United States, European Union and its member states, diplomatic allies, New Southbound Policy partner countries, and African and Middle Eastern nations.
The R.O.C. government announced two earlier waves of humanitarian assistance on April 1 and April 9, donating face masks and other medical supplies to support frontline medical personnel as they fight the pandemic in countries that have been severely affected. This has drawn recognition and gratitude from around the world.
Echoing the belief that Taiwan can help, and Taiwan is helping, many individual Taiwanese are also taking substantive action. Within just one week, a “Taiwan can help, Health for all” campaign had seen Taiwanese people gift 3.93 million face masks for overseas donation as of May 5. These masks will be part of Taiwan’s third wave of assistance.
In this wave, 2.28 million face masks will go to the US federal government and hard-hit US states, 1.3 million to the EU and its member states, 1.09 million to Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, and 1.8 million to New Southbound Policy partner countries. Another 600,000 masks will also go to Africa and the Middle East, and to assist medics working with Syrian refugees.
Taiwan also continues to expand antipandemic cooperation with the US, Europe, and other countries. In addition to cooperating on the research and development of pharmaceuticals and vaccines, Taiwan has also worked with the US to organize an online workshop on countering COVID-19 disinformation under our Global Cooperation and Training Framework, and conducted videoconferences with US think tanks and universities. For example, Vice President Chen Chien-jen spoke at a videoconference hosted by Johns Hopkins University. Elsewhere, government agencies are also actively working with European nations on the research and development of COVID-19 vaccines.
As the world toils to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan is doing all it can, and is proud to be supporting frontline medics and associated personnel in other countries. We firmly believe that the prevention and containment of COVID-19 transcends borders, and that only mutual assistance and mutually beneficial cooperation can build a solid line of defense. Taiwan is willing and able to contribute even more to global public health. (E)