10 Nov 2004

Taiwan gives Kiribati 50 containers of rice

4:27 pm on 10 November 2004

The Taiwanese Ambassador to Kiribati has handed over 1,000 tonnes of rice to the Kiribati Government.

This comes after a request for assistance from the Kiribati authorities in August following a food shortage on the main island of Tarawa.

Walter Zweifel reports from Kiribati.

"Ambassador Samuel Chen says the fifty containers of rice sent to the port in Betio are to provide food security for Kiribati. He declined to put a value on the donation but says an additional 180,000 US dollars is being spent on fees and to distribute the rice, which has become the country's main staple. The Taiwanese shipment is almost equivalent to one month's consumption. The Kiribati Government, elected last year, switched diplomatic recognition from Beijing to Taipei a year ago this week - a move still criticised by the Opposition"