TAIPEI (Taiwan News)--The Salvadorian Ministry of Defense has requested $2 million dollars from the El Salvador government to cover the shipping expenses of four military helicopters which were recently donated by Taiwan.
"We need $2 million to bring those helicopters they are giving us, and we don't have that at this moment to bring them and put them to work," said El Salvador's Minister of Defense David Munguía.
Previously, Taiwan had supplied Belize and Guatemala with two of the same Bell UH-1H "Huey" helicopters, and three have been given to Honduras.
The Salvadorian Air force is in dire need of such utility helicopters as it has limited tactical transport. The number of aircraft is insufficient for the missions given, especially during natural disasters.
On July 7, there was a fire in the Ministry of Finance building, where 1 person died and 25 people were taken to the hospital. Air Force crews rescued several victims from the rooftop using 3 aircraft donated by the United States one month before the incident.
Munguía explained that the Ministry does not have the budget to buy this equipment that would normally cost around $16 million to acquire and that is why is so important to take advantage of the donation.