(CNA) – Taiwan on Friday donated a range of supplies to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), one of its diplomatic allies, to help with the disaster relief efforts amid a major volcanic eruption.
The supplies, donated by the Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce of Miami (TCCM), the Tzu Chi Foundation, and the Junior Chamber International Taiwan, included 11,000 surgical face masks, 390 blankets, a range of baby products, and daily necessities.
The donation was presented Friday by head of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Miami Amino Chi to Saint Lucia Consul General in Miami Tassa Jean, who received it on behalf of the SVG government.
At the presentation ceremony, Jean thanked Taiwan for the generous donation, at a time when the people of SVG are in dire need of assistance.
According to Jean, the supplies will be shipped via Saint Lucia to SVG’s National Emergency Management Office.
Chi, meanwhile, said that as a member of the international community, Taiwan has a responsibility to assist with international disaster relief.
La Soufrière volcano in the Caribbean country of SVG began erupting explosively on April 9, spewing ash, smoke and sulfur dioxide thousands of meters into the air.
An estimated 20,000 people, including some 5,000 children, were forced to flee their homes in the danger zones.
More than 3,000 of them are living in government shelters, while most of the others are housed with private citizens, amid continued eruptions and related complications such as severe flooding, over the past three weeks.
SVG and Taiwan have maintained unbroken diplomatic relations for almost 40 years.