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Taiwan donates $20,000 to help with disaster relief effort

Taiwanese official says the donation is a small token to show Oklahomans the country is thinking about them in the aftermath of recent tornadoes.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: June 17, 2011
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Taiwan is providing $20,000 to help residents in its sister state of Oklahoma recover from recent tornadoes.

The rare financial gift from another nation was accepted Thursday by Gov. Mary Fallin.

“It is just a small token,” said Joseph Chen, director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan during a state Capitol ceremony. “This is part of a humanitarian effort by the people and government of Taiwan to show Oklahomans that we are thinking about them, and they are in our thoughts and prayers.”

“Thanks for your generosity, your friendship and standing with a sister state during a time of need,” Fallin said. “This will go a long ways to helping our recovery efforts for our families and our businesses.”

Emergency Management Department Director Albert Ashwood said it is unusual for another nation to provide monetary assistance to Oklahoma. The state usually receives offers of assistance from other countries but usually in the form of equipment and manpower, he said.

“It really shows the world family that we do have when times are in crisis,” Ashwood said. “The monetary part of it is a bit different than what we have seen in the past, and we certainly appreciate it.”

Recent tornadoes destroyed 588 homes and damaged more than 1,000. The storms caused an estimated $10 million in damage.