Taiwan to stick with foreign aid projects despite funding cut
By Joseph Yeh, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- An official yesterday pledged that Taiwan will keep its promise to offer assistance to its diplomatic allies, even as the nation's foreign aid funds continue to drop.
January 16, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
This year the government has earmarked NT$10.6 billion in official development assistance (ODA), accounting for less than 0.09 percent of the country's gross national income (GNI), said Stanley Kao (高碩泰), director-general of the foreign ministry's Department of Economic and Trade Affairs.
The figure is a slight drop from the ODA for 2012, which stood near NT$13 billion, around 0.1 percent of the country's GNI.
The decrease in foreign aid funds can be blamed on the global economic downturn as well as central government budget cuts, Kao told reporters at a foreign ministry news briefing yesterday.
This marks the third straight year the government has reduced its foreign aid funding. The ODA was around NT$14 billion in 2011, according to Kao.
Taiwan still has much room for improvement in its foreign aid allocation, Kao said, especially compared to the ODA standard set by the United Nations of 0.7 percent of a country's GNI.
Most developed countries around the globe have set the ODA standard at around 0.3 percent of its annual GNI, he added.
Despite the fund reduction, Taiwan will continue to carry out its scheduled joint cooperation projects and foreign aid programs with its diplomatic allies, he noted.
Thirty Taiwanese technical or agricultural missions stationed in 28 countries will carry out 90 cooperation projects in the upcoming year. These projects provide assistance in economic development and livelihood improvement programs.