Taipei, June 7 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Tuesday that Taiwan is just as willing as the United Nations member countries to help deal with the global refugee crisis, although it is not a U.N. member.
"We have not forgotten that while we are enjoying peace, people of other countries have been forced to leave their homes and embark on risky journeys to seek safety amid wars and political instability," Tsai said at ceremony held by several civic groups to establish a refugee shelter in Italy.
The Rising People Foundation and a non-profit organization established by furniture maker Lifestyle Global Enterprise Inc. founder William Hsieh (謝貞德) have launched a project called "Casa di Love" to build a refugee facility on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa.
The 20.2-square kilometer island, with a population of 6,304, has taken in nearly 100,000 refugees, Hsieh noted.
The two Taiwanese organizations plan to spend NT$12 million (US$0.37 million) over the next three years to build the facility on the Italian island, with the first housing unit to be completed in autumn.
Tsai said Taiwan has participated in international humanitarian aid projects through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Development Fund, and non-governmental organizations.
The donation of the refugee facility by the two non-profit organizations symbolizes Taiwan's concern for the international community and its willingness to help deal with the growing refugee crisis in the world, she said.
The Taiwanese people want to contribute more to the world, and the government will not ignore that, Tsai said.
(By Wu Wan-ting and Kay Liu)enditem/pc