Taiwan plans to contribute to global fund on fighting pandemics

Taiwan's own Covid-19 situation is well under control, with only a handful of new domestic cases a day.
Taiwan's own Covid-19 situation is well under control, with only a handful of new domestic cases a day.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

TAIPEI (REUTERS) - Taiwan plans to contribute to a new fund run by the World Bank to fight pandemics and will also share vaccines globally once it has enough domestic supply, former Taiwan vice-president Chen Chien-jen told a virtual summit on Covid-19.

United States President Joe Biden on Wednesday (Sept 22) promised at the summit to buy 500 million more Covid-19 vaccine doses to donate to other countries.

The US government is also calling for a US$10 billion (S$13.5 billion) global health security financial intermediary fund, or FIF, to be run by the World Bank.

Speaking at the summit, Dr Chen said Taiwan supported the goal of vaccinating the world and noted its contribution of masks and other personal protective equipment to countries around the world.

"Once there is enough supply to meet domestic needs, we want to share our vaccines with other countries," Dr Chen, a doctor by training, said, but without giving details.

"For our common vision of building back better, we will seek to contribute to the global health security financial intermediary fund that the United States plans to establish."

Taiwan has been keen to demonstrate it is a responsible and much needed member of the international community during the pandemic, even as Beijing has blocked its full participation at the World Health Organisation.

Taiwan is locked out of most global bodies due to China's objections. Beijing regards Taiwan as a renegade province to be reunified, by force if necessary.

Taiwan's own Covid-19 situation is well under control, with only a handful of new domestic cases a day, and a vaccination programme rapidly accelerating though less than one-tenth of people are fully vaccinated.

Taiwan has also benefited from vaccine donations from the US, Japan, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Lithuania.