Taiwan to donate US$1m for Indonesia earthquake relief

Taiwan pledges US$1m donation after Central Sulawesi earthquake to help respond to humanitarian needs

Aftermath of earthquake in Palu, Central Sulawesi on Oct. 5

Aftermath of earthquake in Palu, Central Sulawesi on Oct. 5 (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan will donate US$1 million (NT$30.93 million) to Indonesia in the aftermath of a catastrophic earthquake which struck Central Sulawesi last month, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA, 外交部) announced yesterday.

MOFA explained the donation as being in response to humanitarian needs, as well as due to the close relationship between Indonesia and Taiwan.

A magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck Palau, Central Sulawesi on Sept. 28, causing widespread damage to homes and infrastructure. At most recent count, 1,550 people have died, and more than 100 are still missing.

The earthquake is Indonesia’s most deadly since 2006, and the most deadly the world has seen this year.

Alongside the cash donation, Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare (衛生福利部) has opened two bank accounts to help funnel personal donations from the people of Taiwan into relief efforts, said MOFA.

The bank accounts will be open until Nov. 3, with the proceeds being directly transferred to the Indonesian government.

The New Taipei City Fire Department (新北市政府消防局) has assembled a rescue team of 36 people and six sniffer dogs, and is expected to travel to Indonesia soon.

Taiwanese Buddhist humanitarian organization, Tzu Chi Foundation (慈濟基金會) has also begun to respond to the disaster by dispatching a medical team, as well as collecting scarce supplies like blankets.

Taiwan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), met with Indonesia’s representative to Taiwan, Didi Sumedi, on Oct. 2 and expressed Taiwan’s wiliness to provide humanitarian assistance as soon as possible.

According to current information, no Taiwanese citizens have been killed or injured, according to MOFA.