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Taiwan's charity organizations ready to launch relief aid to Japan

2011/03/11 20:16:40

Taipei, March 11 (CNA) Several Taiwanese charity groups haveshored up resources to deliver rescue and relief aid to Japan in thewake of the magnitude 8.9 earthquake and ensuing tsunami that hitJapan's northeast coast Friday.

The Red Cross Society said it has organized medical and rescueteams and prepared supplies, and is ready to ship these resources toJapan as soon as Tokyo issues the call for help.

Red Cross Deputy Secretary-General Lin Hsiu-fen said thatalthough Japan has a well developed system for disaster relief, herorganization can still provide immediate assistance.

She added that while the scale and damage caused by theearthquake is still being assessed, the Red Cross will keep tabs andseek information on the situation on the ground so that it can offerthe proper kind of relief.

So far, Taiwan's Red Cross has donated NT$2,942,500 (US$100,000)to its Japanese branch, and has launched efforts to raise more fundsfor relief aid, Lin said.

Meanwhile, the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, oneof the biggest charity groups in Taiwan, announced earlier in the daythat it has set up a command center to prepare for launching reliefaid to Japan.

The foundation also alerted its branch offices in Taiwan, China,Philippines, Indonesia, and other neighboring countries to preparefor possible tsunami impact around the Pacific Rim.

The Taiwan Root Medical Peace Corps said it has contacted itsJapanese ally organization, Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) , to expressconcern for earthquake victims and offer its assistance. Peace Corpsis still waiting for a response from PWJ on the scale of the damageand the types of relief supplies needed.

PWJ is a member of the Japan Platform, an international emergencyrescue organization.

(By Chen Li-ting, Amy Huang, Sunrise Huang and Elizabeth Hsu)