Taiwan donates to Guatemala volcano disaster relief

MOFA is considering more aid based on the diplomatic ally's needs

Rescue workers in Escuintla near the Volcan de Fuego, Guatemala.

Rescue workers in Escuintla near the Volcan de Fuego, Guatemala. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Following a volcano eruption which killed dozens in the Central American diplomatic ally, Taiwan donated US$100,000 (NT$2.9 million) to Guatemala for disaster relief, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said.

At least 72 people died, hundreds were injured and thousands evacuated after the Fuego volcano erupted last Sunday and Tuesday. The country has declared three days of mourning while rescue work continues, made difficult by the heat and ash.

After President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) tweeted her concern about the calamity, Taiwan donated the money, but further help might be on the way depending on Guatemala’s needs, the Central News Agency quoted MOFA as saying.

The country’s president, Jimmy Morales, has thanked Taiwan for its concern, MOFA said. Tsai visited the country in January last year.

Guatemala is one of Taiwan’s 18 official diplomatic allies, mostly small or impoverished nations in Latin America, the Caribbean and the Pacific, with the Vatican as the only ally in Europe and the kingdom of eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland, the only one in Africa.