Nation’s rice donations earn it award from NGO
Taiwan’s regular donation of rice for the U.S.-based Food for the Poor’s relief project in Haiti has won the international relief organization’s acclaim and its thanks for Taiwan’s food aid, which has saved tens of hundreds of Haitian people living in poverty.
Ambassador to Haiti, Peter Hwang, revealed the matter in an interview with CNA Sunday, saying that since 2008, the Taiwanese government has donated 2,400 tons of rice each year to Food for the Poor under a cooperative program aimed at supplying food to 15,000 poverty-stricken households in Haiti for four consecutive months per year.
During President Ma Ying-jeou’s visit to Haiti in mid-July, he presided over a rice donation ceremony along with his Haitian counterpart Michel Joseph Martelly. The two heads of state helped aid workers distribute cooked rice to those in need, Hwang said. “The scene (of two leaders feeding the poor) was heart-warming.”
Although in geographic distance, Taiwan is a country far away from Haiti, the Haitian people are “genuinely very grateful to Taiwan” for being able to eat freshly cooked rice, Hwang said.
The rice donation ceremony that Ma hosted drew the attention of foreign media thanks to Food for the Poor Chairman Robin Mahfood’s praise during the event of Taiwan’s charity contributions and his recognition of Taiwan as an important source of relief food for Haiti, according to Hwang.
According to the World Bank, out of Haiti’s population of 10.4 million, over 6 million people are living below the national poverty line.