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MOFA sends 1,150 tons of rice to East Africa

The China Post--The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday it was sending 1,150 tons of rice to East Africa to help famine victims.

During a ceremony at a harbor in Taichung yesterday, the MOFA and the U.S. non-profit organization Feed The Children (FTC) made the donation to help fight poverty and hunger in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia in the wake of the most devastating drought and famine in the area in 60 years.

Speaking at the ceremony, Wu Rong-chuan (吳榮泉), vice chairman of MOFA's Non-Governmental Affairs Committee said the rice will be delivered by sea in three batches.

It could take 35 days before the staple arrives in East Africa, he said. To guarantee the quality of the rice, Wu said Taiwan's Council of Agricultural carefully examined it before making the donation.

“The goodwill gesture highlights Taiwan's active role in the distribution of humanitarian aid,” he said.

The rice is packed in 30 kg and 3 kg plastic bags, he said and added that each bag is printed with the Republic of China national flag and “Love from Taiwan” so that recipients of the donation will know the rice is from the island country.

According to the United Nations, East Africa is experiencing the worst drought in 60 years since last July, with more than 13 million people facing starvation.

FTC, a Christian organization founded in 1979, has provided food, clothing, medical assistance, and educational opportunities to the needy in over 100 countries. It aims to help needy families become self-sufficient members of their communities.

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