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ROC Central News Agency

Foreign ministry to pay for delivery of donated supplies to Ukraine

ROC Central News Agency

04/25/2022 07:50 PM

Taipei, April 25 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Monday it will pay for the delivery of supplies for Ukrainian refugees to Europe out of its own budget even though it could cost as much as NT$200 million (US$6.81 million).

In a statement, MOFA said it has not asked for help from the Executive Yuan to cover the cost of delivery and will not draw on funds in a special account holding donations for Ukrainian refugees to pay the bill.

It was responding to a media report that said MOFA asked the Executive Yuan to allocate funds to pay for the freight, which according to ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政), could be as high as NT$200 million.

The Executive Yuan was reluctant to do so, according to the Chinese-language United Daily News report.

MOFA collected a total of 650 metric tons of medical supplies and other goods donated by 8,474 people in Taiwan from March 7 to 18 as part of the government's efforts to help Ukrainian refugees who fled after their country was invaded by Russia.

So far, 350 metric tons, or just over half, of the supplies have been delivered to nearby countries by DHL, MOFA said.

According to Lo, the ministry only allocated NT$16 million to cover the delivery of an expected 50 metric tons of supplies, but an unexpected outpouring of support meant a bigger freight bill, putting pressure on MOFA's NT$370 million budget for international assistance.

At a legislative session on April 14, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said MOFA might have to draw on funding from other departments to cover delivery costs and would ask the Executive Yuan for help if that was not enough.

Executive Yuan spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) said Monday that MOFA has not asked the Executive Yuan for help on the issue.

According to MOFA, the special account established by the government from late March to early April has raised a total of NT$930 million (US$32.45 million) in donations for Ukraine.

Some of the money has already been donated to Ukraine's neighbors that are sheltering Ukrainian refugees, with US$5 million still remaining in the account, according to the ministry.

(By Joseph Yeh)


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