Taipei, Feb. 17 (CNA) A delegation of U.S. legislative assistants paid a visit Tuesday to the Taiwan
Root Medical Peace Corps (TRMPC) in recognition of the non-governmental organization's
humanitarian relief efforts.
Led by William Pewen, a senior health policy advisor to Republican Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine,
the 13-member delegation headed to the TRMPC office in Xindian, Taipei County to gain a better
understanding of the organization's work. The TRMPC is dedicated to improving the quality of life
through the provision of medical services in aboriginal tribal areas in Taiwan and remote regions in
Speaking at a briefing, Huang Chen-wu, a TRMPC volunteer in charge of international affairs, said
that the organization has held some 190 free clinics in Taiwan and in 40 countries around the world
over the past 14 years. It has provided post-war aid in Kosovo, given medical treatment to victims
of the South Asia tsunami and the Indonesia earthquake, and offered humanitarian assistance in the
poorest areas of the world, Huang added.
The TRMPC is the first and only non-governmental organization from Taiwan to obtain a seat in the
Conference of Non- Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations,
according to Huang.
Several of the visiting U.S. delegates expressed concern over the health of Taiwan's aboriginal people
and their migration to urban areas.
Micheleen Crowell, an aide to Democratic Congressman John Lewis, also asked about the effects of
the current economic recession on the TRMPC's operations and the willingness of its volunteers to pay
their own expenses while providing medical aid overseas.
Citing a recent mission to Kenya as an example, TRMPC President Liu Chi-chun said every volunteer
worker paid NT$75,000 (US$2,167) for the trip during the Chinese New Year holiday with the aim
of showing the world Taiwan's willingness and ability to help people in need.
The U.S. delegation will also visit the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation in Hualien.
(By Y.L. Kao)