Taiwan touts US$2 million medical fund at Pacific Islands Forum

FILE PHOTO: Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu attends a news conference after Burkina Faso ended diplomacy relationship with Taiwan, in Taipei, Taiwan May 24, 2018. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

YAREN, 06 SEPTEMBER 2018 (CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY) – Taiwan on Wednesday announced the establishment of a US$2 million medical fund to boost medical cooperation with Pacific countries during the ongoing Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) held in Nauru.

The announcement was made by Foreign Minister Joseph Wu who is leading a delegation to the annual meeting hosted by the nation’s Pacific ally until Thursday.

All PIF members can apply for funding to support professional medical teams from Taiwan traveling to their countries to provide medical services at Republic of China (Taiwan) embassies or representative offices. The application deadline is Aug. 2019, according to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) statement.

Founded in 1971, the PIF is a regional political and economic policy organisation comprising 18 members: Australia, the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Marshall Islands, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

Of the 18, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu are Taiwan’s diplomatic allies.

Taiwan was invited to be a post-forum dialogue partner in 1992 and took part for the first time in 1993. Taipei provides annual scholarships to citizens of the member countries, according to MOFA.

During his visit to Nauru, Wu met with President Baron Waqa, who is also minister of foreign affairs and trade of the Republic of Nauru, one of Taiwan’s 17 diplomatic allies.

He also hosted the annual Taiwan/ROC-Forum dialogue with regional diplomatic allies and friendly nations to discuss bilateral and multilateral cooperation issues, MOFA said.

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