Haitian Minister Thanks Taiwan Recue Team

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A Taiwanese rescue team was one of the first to arrive in Port-au-Prince after a devastating earthquake struck the island nation last week. NTD reporter Kevin Lin paid a visit to the Haitian embassy in Taiwan for an exclusive interview.

One week after a magnitude 7 earthquake shattered people’s lives in Haiti, NTD spoke with Minister Mario Chouloute, the Haitian representative to Taiwan.

[Mario Chouloute, Haitian Chargé D'affaires]:
“The capital city, Port-au-Prince and several other cities close by Port-au-Prince have been destroyed, almost 95%, almost 100 thousand deaths, and the government of Haiti has lost some members too. The main priority for Haitian people actually is medical assistance. There are many cases of casualty, almost 250 thousand.”

Haiti is one of only 23 countries that still recognize Taiwan. Taiwan has pledged $500,000 U.S. dollars of supplies and continual support from medics and rescue teams.

[Mario Chouloute, Haitian Chargé D'affaires]:
“Taiwan is one of the best friends of Haiti and in the past whenever we had problems Taiwan was always one of the first countries to help Haiti and I use the opportunity to thank again Taiwan’s authority and the Taiwanese for their attention to Haiti.”

Haiti is currently receiving supplies from both Taiwan and China but some people are questioning Chinas motives and say it is a display of their soft power.

[Mario Chouloute, Haitian Chargé D'affaires]:
“Taiwan is Taiwan, China is China. We have diplomatic relations with Taiwan. If Haitian authorities request some help from Taiwan, it's Taiwan. Taiwanese people are doing their best to help Haiti and we appreciate that a lot.”

Death toll estimates are rising daily and panic is growing due to a shortage of fresh water and food supplies.

Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture will send a shipment of 200 metric tons of rice, which is due to arrive later this month.

Scores of charities have also been established to raise funds.

NTD News, Taiwan

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