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June 27, 2017

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More aid, relief sent for Haitian quake victims

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The government has provided and additional US$300,000 in cash aid plus 200 metric tons of rice for people of Haiti, which was devastated by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake Tuesday.

The new aid came after the government made an immediate donation of US$200,000 a day earlier to Haiti and sent a rescue team of 23 workers and two search and rescue dogs to the nation's diplomatic ally in the Caribbean area.

According to initial estimates and wire service reports, the deadly quake could have caused over 100,000 casualties.

Officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday that in addition to the US$300,000 cash aid, the government's medical assistance team and the Taiwan IHA (International Health Action) squad have completed preparations for departure to Haiti.

The ministry is also coordinating with organizations in the private sector to offer swift assistance through their overseas branches.

The Agriculture and Food Agency under the Council of Agriculture said it has approved a humanitarian aid plan of delivering 200 tons of rice via the MOFA to the Caribbean country.

The shipment is expected to reach Haiti in the latter half of this month to meet the needs of post-quake relief measures. The rice will be distributed by the branch of the Food for the Poor (FFP) organization in Haiti, COA officials said.

This is part of the government's food aid program that has provided rice to many nations in Africa, Latin America and the Asia Pacific region during food shortage crises over the years.

Officials at the MOFA and the COA said additional aid will be prepared for quake victims in Haiti when necessary.

Both of the nation's Ambassador Hsu Mien-sheng and Minister Extraordinary Chi Wang-teh posted in Haiti and injured by the quake have been sent to the neighboring Dominican Republic for treatment at a hospital there, officials said.

None of their injuries were life-threatening and both of them are in stable condition.

Initial examinations show that Hsu might have suffered bone fractures to his left leg while Chi's chest bones might have been fractured.

Hsu had been trapped in the rubble for six hours before he was rescued as the two-storey Taiwan's embassy building collapsed in the magnitude-7 earthquake which was centered about 15 kilometers southwest of the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.

The daughter of a Taiwanese engineer working in Haiti was killed in the quake, MOFA deputy spokesman James Chang said.

Meanwhile, a Taiwanese businessman has remained unaccounted for since the magnitude-7 earthquake devastated Haiti Tuesday, Chang said.

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