Taiwan will double its contribution to international food aid this year by donating 17,400 metric tons of rice to 17 countries, the country’s Agriculture and Food Agency recently announced. The common thinking in the U.S. often seems to be that the U.S. is the only country that contributes food or money to any large degree to help underprivileged populations around the world.

It is interesting that a small country the size of Taiwan can contribute 17,400 metric tons for food aid through various food relief charities. Taiwan officials claimed the 2014 contribution of rice could save 5.8 million people from starvation.

Although it might be expected that Taiwan would be more concerned about helping populations of Southeast Asia, the rice is actually going worldwide including the back door of the Americas.

A total of 5,100 metric tons is going to typhoon victims in the Philippines, 3,100 metric tons is set for Syrian refugees in Jordan. Another 2,400 metric tons will go to Haitians still recovering from the destructive 2010 earthquake that hit the Caribbean country, reported the Focus Taiwan News Channel.

Other beneficiary countries are Cambodia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, the Solomon Islands, Turkey, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Tuvalu. A couple of these countries would seem wealthy enough to provide food aid to their own people and are not normally considered countries with large populations of undernourished.

Taiwan proudly announced that since 2002, it has been able to cooperate with international charity organizations to provide assistance to 32 countries affected by famine. Taiwan has so far donated 250,000 metric tons of rice, helping an estimated 83 million people worldwide. This includes 8,700 metric tons donated to 14 countries in 2013, according to government records.

The Taiwan Agriculture and Food Agency said it expects to have the 2014 rice shipped by the end of June.