Taiwan, the Vatican collaborate to provide 100,000 facial masks to Africa

May 4, 2020

The Holy See will donate 100,000 surgical face masks provided by Taiwan – which arrived in the city-state along with two infrared thermal imaging cameras – to certain African countries to help them combat the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Taiwan’s Ambassador to the Vatican, Matthew Lee.

The donation of about 200,000 masks by Taiwan was accepted by Cardinal Peter Turkson, Prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, and Binish Thomas Mulackal, Director of the Vatican Pharmacy – Mulackal asked the Taiwan Embassy to the Holy See whether Taiwan would agree to divert some of the donated masks to Africa.

“Taiwan is glad to collaborate with the Holy See in providing assistance to countries that need help the most,” Lee stressed.

Lee added that apart from the masks, Taiwan is looking to make other contributions to help contain the global spread of the coronavirus.Taiwan has already provided around 480,000 face masks and other relief goods such as rice cookers and canned food to the Vatican in April alone.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Turkson, from Ghana, has been in touch with the embassy to discuss ways to help Africa with the pandemic after he was appointed by Pope Francis to head the Vatican’s COVID-19 Commission in March. Cardinal Turkson said the 100,000 masks will be delivered to Africa through Catholic charities such as Caritas.

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