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International Aid Arriving

The United States has promised to dispatch heavy-lift helicopters along with other relief supplies to Taiwan in the wake of Typhoon Morakot, while China will send pre-fab housing units to shelter displaced survivors.

Other countries, including Singapore, Australia and Israel, have also promised or sent relief aids to Taiwan after President Ma Ying-jeou appealed for international help on Thursday.

“The U.S. has agreed to provide U.S. personnel operated heavy-lift helicopters and other materials to support the relief operation,” Christopher Kavanagh, press officer of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), was cited by the Central News Agency as saying yesterday.

He said details such as the number of helicopters and when and from where they would be dispatched were still being worked out.

Taiwan needs heavy-lift helicopters to transport digging machines into mountains where many villages and roads have been damaged or buried in rocks and mud.

Taiwan has also asked China to send 1,000 units of pre-fab housing needed to shelter survivors who lost their homes to mudslides, said Ma Shao-chang, deputy secretary general of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF).

Ma said Taipei has not asked Beijing for other items, but China is expected to dispatch 150 containers of relief supplies to Taiwan on Aug. 17.

The China government has been quoted by its official Xinhua news agency as saying that it is willing to do anything possible to help with Taiwan's relief efforts.

The China government has already had manufacturers start producing the pre-fab housing units that Taiwan has asked for, and the first shipments will be dispatched tomorrow, Xinhua said.

The CNA also cited Chinese media reports as indicating that China's Red Cross Society has sent Taiwan 15 million yuan donated by people of the country.

The U.S. government has also donated US$250,000 to Taiwan.

An official, Ron Libby, from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has also arrived in Taiwan to assess Taiwan's needs in the wake of the Morakot, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

Taiwan has been receiving various humanitarian care from many countries in the wake of the typhoon.

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International Aid Arriving
President Ma Ying-jeou tries to hold up the widow of Chang Jui-hsien, a volunteer firefighter who drowned during a rescue mission, yesterday, at the victim's home in Nantou County. ...

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