Medical relief from Taiwan reaches Venezeula

The 3.5 tons of supplies can provide much-needed humanitarian assistance to an estimated 100,000 Venezuelans

A Venezuelan woman and her baby girl (AP photo)

A Venezuelan woman and her baby girl (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s foreign ministry said on Thursday (Aug. 22) the country had provided 3.5 tons of humanitarian aid to Venezuela.

The supplies proved that, “Taiwan can help,” the ministry said. Even though Taiwan finds it difficult to participate in international organizations due to pressure from China, the country continues to lend a helping hand to those in need around the world, added the ministry.

The relief, ranging from medication treating high blood pressure to HIV testing kits for babies, was delivered to a number of non-governmental organizations in Venezuela, said the ministry via a statement. The medical supplies weighed about 3.5 tonnes and will meet the needs of an estimated 106,000 Venezuelans, said the ministry.

In addition to medical assistance, Taiwan has also provided drinking water and three delivery trucks to the Latin American nation. Taiwan promised to offer US$500,000 of relief supplies to Venezuela at the Global Conference on the Humanitarian Crisis in Venezuela, held in Washington D.C., in February.

Taiwan’s envoy to the United States Stanley Kao (高碩泰) took part in the conference, organized by the Venezuelan opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, according to Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) at the time.

In June, Foreign Minster Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) hosted a ceremony in Taipei, during which he symbolically handed the supplies over to Jesús Yáñez, a Venezuelan lawmaker who was visiting Taiwan, said the ministry. Yáñez was representing the interim government of Guaidó, who is supported by more than 50 governments, including the U.S. and U.K.

The oil producing country is facing severe economic, political, and societal problems because of the sharp decline in global oil prices and a series of failed economic policies introduced by incumbent Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro over the past few years. Four million citizens are believed to have fled to neighboring countries from Venezuela, according to the U.N.’s refugee agency.