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Taiwan to donate US$5 million for Haiti quake relief

ROC Central News Agency

2010/01/16 14:14:49

Taipei, Jan. 16 (CNA) The government decided to offer a total of US$5 million to its Caribbean ally Haiti Friday, while a chartered flight carrying a Taiwanese rescue team will enter the quake-ravaged nation once it gets landing approval from the nation's only airport, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Saturday.

According to a MOFA news release, the 23 members of the rescue team organized by the Interior Ministry arrived in Santo Domingo, capital of neighboring Dominican Republic early Thursday en route to Haiti.

As Haiti's airport was damaged in Tuesday's magnitude-7.0 quake and there were too many planes from around the world waiting to land there and unload rescue teams, medicine and relief supplies, the team had to stay overnight in Santo Domingo and await landing approval from Haiti.

Haiti's government agreed Friday to grant temporary control of the nation's main airport, which has only one runway and limited ramp space, to the United States to speed up the relief work, according to media reports.

On Friday, a 33-member medical team from the Red Cross Society of the Republic of China also left for Haiti, while another six medical experts from Taiwan International Health Action are set to leave for Haiti next week.

Meanwhile, there are 31 Taiwanese nationals in Haiti, including embassy and technical mission staff, businessmen and their families, all of whom are safe, with at least one-week's supply of food and water, said ROC Ambassador to Dominican Republic Tsai Meng-hung.

Tsai said preparations for their evacuation had started and that the Dominican government had agreed to assist with the evacuation.

(By Sinyao Shih, Kwang-chun Huang and Fanny Liu) ENDITEM/J

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