“Taiwan AID” alliance of NGOs working in international relief and development launched in Taipei


September 23, 2013, Taipei, by Anthony Carlisle

An alliance of Taiwanese NGOs involved in overseas aid was formally launched in Taipei on Monday, September 23, 2013. “Taiwan AID” will help coordinate the response of Taiwanese NGOs to international disaster situations, and facilitate communications with the government. The umbrella group is a platform for NGOs to share information and resources on international aid and development issues. The group will also represent Taiwan at international gatherings.

Previously known as “TOAID”, Taiwan AID has existed as an informal group of NGOs for a decade. During that time, it has organized international conferences, represented Taiwan at meetings with other national umbrella groups, and held talks with the Taiwanese government when responding to international disasters. On Monday, the loose alliance of NGOs became a formal organization.

Vanessa Yea-Ping Shih, deputy foreign minister 

At the launch event, deputy foreign minister Vanessa Yea-Ping Shih praised the international aid efforts of Taiwan’s NGOs. Pointing to the recent spate of major disasters in Asia – from the 2004 Asian tsunami, the 2006 Indonesian earthquake, the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, Taiwan’s Typhoon Morakot in 2009, to the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami – Shih said the frequency and scale of disasters are such that no one country can deal with the response and recovery effort alone.

Liu Shao-Hua , Academia Sinica associate research fellow 

In her keynote speech to the meeting, Academia Sinica associate research fellow Liu Shao-Hua spoke about the role of Taiwan’s NGOs in the complex and changing world of international development. As a small but resourceful country, with a general understanding of Western values while being rooted in Asian culture, Taiwan can play a “soft-but-strong”, “small-but-beautiful” role in development work.

▲Group Photo 

Thirty Taiwanese NGOs took part in the official launch event. Taiwan AID’s newly elected president is Rebecca Wang, executive director of the Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation. The other standing board members are Jay Hung, CEO of the Zhi Shan Foundation, and Lian Ruiming, president of the Association for Healthcare Quality. Other board members include representatives from Taiwan Rescue, Frontier Foundation, Changhua Christian Hospital, Garden of Hope, YWCA, Fubon Foundation. The three monitoring board members are from Eden Foundation, Taiwan Fund for Children and Families, and Christian Relief Association.

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