10/26/2020, 13.00
VIETNAM - TAIWAN
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Taiwan donates 400,000 dollars in aid to Vietnamese flood victims

by Paul Nguyen Hung

Several areas of Vietnam hit by the worst floods in decades. In the last month, torrential rains have caused 113 deaths and 20 missing, and created hardship for 240 thousand families. Taiwanese entrepreneurs and NGOs mobilized. The strengthening of relations between the two countries can be linked to the US's anti-Beijing strategies.

Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) - Taiwan has donated 400,000 US dollars in aid to Vietnam to support the local population, hit by the worst floods and landslides in decades. In the past two weeks, storms no. 6 and 7 have caused serious damage in the central-northern provinces of Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị, Thừa Thiên-Huế and in the central-southern ones Đà Nẵng, Quảng Nam, Quảng Ngãi, Bình Định and Phú Yên.

The Central Steering Committee on Natural Disaster Prevention reports that torrential rains have caused 113 deaths and 20 missing since late September. River levels have risen rapidly in central areas of Vietnam, flooding 212 municipalities inhabited by 240 thousand families.

Many communities are isolated; at the moment in the devastated areas it is possible to move mostly with small boats. Victims are in immediate need of food, bottled water, medicine, clothing, blankets and books.

At the end of the emergency, money will be needed for reconstruction, especially seeds and agricultural machinery. Many Vietnamese have mobilized to support the flood victims. Groups of young people, including Catholics, brought rice, spaghetti (noodles) and drinking water to the most remote flooded areas.

Richard Shih, Taiwanese representative in Hanoi, said that Taiwanese entrepreneurs and NGOs operating in Vietnam have mobilized and sent aid to disaster areas. He hopes the victims can rebuild their homes and return to normal life soon.

The aid delivery ceremony took place on 23 October in the presence of Trần Quang Hoài, director of the Vietnamese agency for the management of natural disasters. The Hanoi representative thanked the generosity of the government and the people of Taiwan, stressing that the distribution of aid will start as soon as possible.

The Taiwanese authorities highlighted the strong ties that unite their country to Vietnam. More than 320,000 Vietnamese migrants live and work in Taiwan; Taipei is Hanoi's seventh trading partner, with a turnover of 13.5 billion euros in 2019. The two nations also share fears about the growth of Chinese power, an aspect that links the strengthening of their relations with the United States anti-Beijing strategy in the region.

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