Taiwan Donates Lifesaving Rice to Food For The Poor
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Jan. 19, 2023) As a humanitarian crisis worsens in Haiti with families in desperate need of food, Food For The Poor (FFTP) and the Republic of China (Taiwan) have renewed their longstanding annual pledge to provide lifesaving rice.
Food For The Poor-Haiti will receive 440 tractor-trailer loads of lifesaving rice from the Republic of China (Taiwan) in 2023, with the first shipment of 40 containers in February and continuing each month through December.
The 8,800 metric tons of rice, equal to the same amount as the generous gifts provided in 2022 and 2021 by the Republic of China (Taiwan), and 22 percent more than the gift provided in 2020.
Mario Nicoleau, Executive Director of FFTP-Haiti, and Richard Wen-Jiann Ku, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Haiti, signed an agreement spelling out the details of the shipments on Tuesday at the charity’s Port-au-Prince office. FFTP President/CEO Ed Raine, who signed the agreement in advance, participated in the ceremony via video conference from the charity’s Coconut Creek headquarters.
The donation comes as the inflation rate for rice in 2022 was 75 percent, with prices rising from $1,100 a ton to nearly $2,000 a ton.
Nicoleau said the renewal of the agreement represents an expression of the friendship and fraternal sentiment existing between the two countries.
“This donation has a very significant reach this year, seeing that food insecurity is more acute than last year,” Nicoleau said.
Ambassador Ku said he was happy to join the charity each year in a gesture of generosity, sharing and solidarity.
“I want to salute the hard work of the new leading team of Food For The Poor-Haiti, who spared no effort to carry out their humanitarian mission and bring help to needy families which also allowed the Taiwanese help to arrive in the hands of the most vulnerable,” Ku said.
“We are comforted to note that the bigger the challenge, the more Food for The Poor is at the height of expectations,” Ku added.
Nicoleau said the rice will benefit more than 3 million people in Haiti’s most fragile communities served by the charity, including 796 schools, 180 orphanages, 783 parishes and church missions, 257 grassroots organizations, 161 religious communities, 293 hospitals and health centers, prisons, elderly homes and other organizations.
For months, the country has been engulfed in gang violence and the worst malnutrition crisis in decades.
According to the United Nations World Food Programme, 4.5 million Haitians – about half of the country’s population – do not have enough to eat and 1.3 million are highly food insecure. In Cité Soleil, an urban neighborhood in Port-au-Prince, hunger has reached catastrophic levels, the highest category often reserved for wartime famine.
For 17 years, the partnership with the Taiwanese government has provided FFTP the opportunity to feed thousands of families and meet its mission to help children and families living in poverty.
More recently, FFTP also has partnered with Taiwan’s International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) on a rice project where local farmers grew rice that was sold to a feeding program run by the French embassy in Haiti, helping local rice industries.
In addition to the generous rice donations, the Republic of China (Taiwan) is working with FFTP by providing funds for another project in Haiti and two projects in Honduras, including:
- The third year of a pilot program and quality education initiative, in partnership with P4H Global, providing training for teachers and administrators in northern Haiti.
- The UNIOYOL cooperative in El Medio Guire, Honduras, helping 20 female farmers with supplies for their corn and bean crops and technical and business training to empower the women and help 80 family members.
- The Puerto Cortés Transportation School in Honduras, providing scholarships to 30 qualified women who are learning how to operate commercial vehicles.
Raine said the significance of the rice donation and the charity’s longstanding relationship with the government of Taiwan should never be underestimated.
“It’s so important that this day can happen, given the context of all of the challenges that Haiti has gone through, especially in the last nine months,” Raine said. “We gratefully receive this donation for this coming year, but most importantly we accept this on behalf of the millions of people in Haiti who so desperately need this gift.”
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry children and families living in poverty primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for vulnerable children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.