Taiwan extends funding for scholarship program in Pacific countries

The Taiwanese government donated US$500,000 to the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in Fiji Monday to fund a joint scholarship program for higher education for citizens in the region.

The new fund to the Taiwan/Republic of China-PIF Scholarship is an example of Taiwan's partnership with the region, where Taiwan has provided aid, said Taiwan's representative to Fiji, Jeffrey Kau (???).

Kau said at the donation ceremony in Fiji that Taiwan has offered assistance through agricultural, medical and development projects to countries in the Pacific for many years and has seen positive results.

PIF Deputy Secretary-General Andie Fong Toy accepted the fund on behalf of the 16-member organization, and pointed out that a total of 78 citizens from the region have completed their studies funded by the scholarship program established in 2001.

Founded by Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, New Zealand, Tonga and Western Samoa (now Samoa) in 1971, the organization was initially called the South Pacific Forum before the name was changed to the current one in 2000.

Taiwan maintains diplomatic ties with six PIF countries -- Palau, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Kiribati, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu -- although the scholarship is open to all member countries of the organization.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel