Another major cut to Taiwan's aid budget

Miniature flags of Taiwan. The country has reduced its foreign assistance budget by 20 percent. Photo by: Max Chu / CC BY-NC-ND

Taiwan slashed its modest foreign aid program again this year, another indication that the island territory won’t reach the international spending target of 0.7 percent of gross national income anytime soon.

The foreign aid budget will total 10.6 billion New Taiwan dollars ($366.2 million) in 2013, down from NT$13 billion in 2012 and NT14 billion in 2011, according to Focus Taiwan News Channel.

The Taiwanese government will continue to finance its International Cooperation and Development Fund, which will carry out 90 programs on international cooperation with allies, said Stanley Kao, director-general of the Department of International Cooperation and Economic Affairs, on Jan. 15. Taiwan remains committed to providing international aid to its diplomatic allies despite slashing its foreign assistance budget by 20 percent, he added.

The territory’s most notable contribution to humanitarian assistance may have been its debt relief plan for earthquake-stricken Haiti in 2010. Under the plan, the government pledged to pay between $12 million and $13 million to cover the interest of Haiti’s loans to Taiwanese banks and defer the payment of the loans principal for five years.

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    Louie-An Pilapil

    Louie-An is a senior development analyst at Devex Manila. She creates content for the Devex website which analyzes development business trends and provides insights into development business opportunities in the form of blogs and special analysis or insight articles. She has held consulting and editorial positions at the Asian Development Bank in Manila and a business-to-business media company in Hong Kong and mainland China.