Taiwan, in cooperation with Turkey, launched Thursday a humanitarian assistance for Syrians to fight the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“Our only aim and hope is to help those in need, especially our Syrian brothers and sisters. Delivering these protective equipment to them is making us so happy,” Yaser Tai-Hsiang Cheng, the chief of Taipei Economic and Cultural Mission, told a ceremony launching the aid campaign.
The ceremony was held with the attendance of the parties via a video conference call at Taiwan’s mission in the capital Ankara.
Among the attendees were Turkish lawmakers Celalettin Guvenc and Huseyin Sanverdi, Kilis Mayor Mehmet Abdi Bulut, Reyhanli Mayor Mehmet Hacioglu, the US-based Maram Foundation for Relief and Development CEO Yakzan Shishakly, and Turkish Red Crescent Supervisor Sukru Can.
“We are so pleased to have realized this donation together with respected MPs and mayors, and with the support of Turkish Red Crescent,” Yaser said.
The aid includes 100,000 Taiwanese-made surgical masks provided by the Taipei government, 7,500 pairs of gloves and 2,100 head-covers provided by the Taiwanese community in Turkey.
Yaser said the aid will be distributed among Syrian people in Turkey’s southern provinces of Kilis and Hatay. The provinces host a large number of Syrians, while there are nearly 4 million Syrians across Turkey.
Highlighting Taiwan’s effective handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, he stated despite receiving worldwide appreciation for its success, Taiwan is excluded from the World Health Assembly (WHA) “due to political reasons”.
“Despite this, Taiwan is doing its best and calls for the continuation of cooperation regardless of the political reasons,” he said, adding that the country has sent medical supplies to 80 countries across the world to help them fight the virus.
Only cooperation can beat pandemic
“Disease knows no borders. No country can combat the pandemic single-handedly. Only through cooperation can we truly be successful in defeating the pandemic,” Yaser added.
“Taiwan will continue to make contribution to global public health, realizing ‘Taiwan Can Help’ motto and proving ‘Taiwan is helping!’” Yaser added.
According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Taiwan is capable of producing some 18-19 million masks per day as of May. Since April, it has been sharing masks with other countries, including the US, Japan and European countries, to fight the pandemic.
Taiwan has achieved success in containing the spread of the coronavirus as it reported only 443 cases with most of them being imported cases and seven deaths as of June 3.
Turkish lawmakers Guvenc and Sanverdi also thanked for the generous donation, saying they are used to such contributions by the Taiwanese mission.
For his part, Maram’s Shishakly thanked both the governments and people of Taiwan and Turkey for the aid.
He also appreciated Turkey’s efforts to host millions of Syrians since the start of internal conflict in 2011.
Shishakly stressed that the aid was the symbol of unity regardless of color and borders besides being an aid of personal protection equipment.
Can from Red Crescent also thanked the Taiwanese mission, saying that what is important is to be with people in hard times.
“I attribute great importance to this benevolence by the Taiwanese mission,” Can said.
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