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Sharing Experience on Haiti: TaiwanICDF Attends 2010 Aid and International Development Forum

Washington D.C., United States -- Members of the International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF) were in attendance at the 2010 Aid and International Development Forum (AIDF) from July 22-23, where they shared Taiwan's recent experiences in the aftermath of the January 12 earthquake in Haiti with the international community, and sought to expand the organization's cooperative network of international humanitarian assistance. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Health, the Fubon Cultural and Educational Foundation, the Red Cross Society of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Dharma Drum Foundation were also representing Taiwan at the event.

At this year's event, the TaiwanICDF was invited to speak at the Haiti--Future Development forum, alongside members of the United States' Federal Emergency Management Agency, Mdecins du Monde, and CHF International. Mr. Sean Tsai, Acting Director of Humanitarian Assistance, gave forum participants an introduction to the TaiwanICDF's work in the immediate aftermath of the recent earthquake, including cooperation with public and private sector organizations and international NGOs, through which the organization was able to deliver medical care, and distribute humanitarian materials and food aid. Mr. Tsai went on to describe the organization's long-term plan for redevelopment in Haiti, which will focus on public health and medicine, the settlement of internally displaced persons, vocational training and cash-for-work programs, and care for orphans, including associated adoption activities.

The overview of assistance given by the TaiwanICDF over the past six months described how Taiwan's assistance strategies and post-disaster aid programs in Haiti are commensurate with four key strategies - supply humanitarian aid, rebuild society, strengthen the agricultural sector, and promote sustainability - originally set out by United Nations Deputy Special Envoy to Haiti, Dr. Paul Farmer. The TaiwanICDF's past and present efforts in Haiti dovetail with these four major pillars of reconstruction work, and are in line with the concept of international humanitarian relief and associated trends.

Forum members also discussed concerns that humanitarian relief work and funding should be culturally sensitive, and seek to build capacity of both the public and private sectors. Of particular concern was the fact that Haiti's central and local government agencies and civil institutions are unable to respond effectively and independently to the needs driving post-disaster reconstruction. In future, therefore, the TaiwanICDF will continue to improve the use of technology in Haiti. Mission chiefs with four decades of local experience will work in close coordination with the Haitian government, domestic and international NGOs, and local residents; and jointly promote projects that recover land, rebuild institutions, and support social and economic growth.

In view of the increasingly damaging impact of climate change and the greater frequency with which major natural disasters are occurring, future challenges in humanitarian assistance are bound to be tough. The TaiwanICDF will continue to actively integrate its resources with those of overseas and domestic enterprises, and NGOs, in order to expand cooperative networks for international humanitarian assistance. The organization will follow a three-stage process of rescue, reconstruction and redevelopment, seeking to provide international society with better solutions for emergency humanitarian assistance.

AIDF represents a major platform for discussion of contemporary issues in international humanitarian assistance. Its main purpose is to assist a variety of development actors - including NGOs, United Nations agencies, governments and enterprises, and public and private sector partners - with the procurement and supply of relief materials; and logistics, project management, and professional networking services relating to aid and international development. The event provides a forum for humanitarian assistance experiences and best practices, and facilitates cross-sector cooperation.

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  • Date:2010/7/26