Taiwan pledges US$500,000 to help Somaliland over fire incident


Taiwan’s government has offered to donate a sum of US$500,000 to Somaliland to help the victims of the fire disasters at Waheen market.

Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced Wednesday that its government will also work with other like-minded countries to jointly help Somaliland to rebuild the market in the future.

The ministry’s spokeswoman Joanne Ou said the blaze seriously affected the livelihoods of thousands of people, and Taiwan pledged the donation to offer emergency humanitarian assistance to those affected.

Somaliland government through the foreign ministry registered gratitude for the donation and said it will arrange a public ceremony at which the funds will be officially handed over.

According to the Somaliland government, a total of 1,000 shops and 4,200 stalls and tables in the market were destroyed, and over 17,000 people who relied directly on the market were affected.

Many well-meaning individuals as well as international communities have equally pledged support in the rebuilding of the 4th largest market in the horn of Africa which authorities have estimated its economic impact at US $2 billion. The market according to analyst constitutes 60 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

Relations between Taiwan and Somaliland have waxed stronger over the years, with Taipei opening a representative office in Somaliland’s capital Hargeisa on Aug. 17, 2020, and the Somaliland authorities opening a reciprocal office in Taipei the following month on Sept. 9.