Taipei, Taiwan's government has decided to donate US$1 million to Indonesia to support relief efforts following a devastating earthquake that struck the island of Sulawesi in late September, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Friday.
The MOFA will hand the US$1 million in relief funds to the Indonesian government to be put toward reconstruction of the area affected by the temblor.
The decision to make the donation was based on humanitarian needs and the close friendship between Taiwan and Indonesia, the ministry said.
In addition to the donation, the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) has opened two special bank accounts to take donations from anybody who wants to help people in Sulawesi recover from the earthquake, according to the MOFA.
The bank accounts will be open for donations until Nov. 3, and the MOHW said the funds received will be turned over to the MOFA, which will pass them on to the Indonesian government for future reconstruction use.
In a separate donation effort, the Overseas Community Affairs Council said Taiwanese businesspeople based in Indonesia have started a donation campaign and collected more than US$80,000 in funds to help earthquake victims.
The magnitude-7.5 earthquake that rocked the city of Palu in central Sulawesi and the 20-foot tsunami that followed left at least 1,558 dead, more than 150 missing, and 65,733 buildings damaged as of Friday morning, the MOFA said, citing Indonesian government figures.
The ministry said it was not aware of any Taiwanese having been killed or injured in the earthquake or being stranded in the affected area.
Taiwan's representative office in Indonesia has stayed in close contact with the Indonesian government to get a clear picture of the damage caused by the earthquake, the ministry said, and it pledged to respond quickly if the Indonesian government makes any request for assistance.
On Tuesday, the New Taipei Fire Department pledged to send relief supplies and a rescue team to Indonesia to assist Indonesia in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami.
(By Elaine Hou, Chang Ming-hsuan and Frances Huang)
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel