Taiwan to donate NT$100 million to help Ukrainian refugees in Poland

03/07/2022 07:30 PM
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Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (left) speaks at a press event held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taipei on Monday
Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (left) speaks at a press event held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taipei on Monday

Taipei, March 7 (CNA) Taiwan will donate NT$100 million (US$3.53 million) to help Ukrainian refugees who have settled in Poland after the Russian invasion of their country, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) announced Monday.

The donation will be transferred soon by Taiwan's representative to Poland Bob Chen (陳龍錦) to Poland's Governmental Strategic Reserves Agency in Warsaw before it will be spent on Ukrainian refugees in Poland, Wu said at a press briefing.

The donated money will be allocated from a government-designated account that has so far raised around NT$300 million donated by people in Taiwan to help displaced Ukrainians, according to Wu.

The fundraising account will continue to be active until April 1.

In his address, Wu said the government-backed campaign had raised nearly NT$300 million in less than five days since it was established to accept financial donations to help Ukrainians.

The donations demonstrate a strong consensus among Taiwanese that "we care and we want to help," Wu said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) also announced that for 12 consecutive days, it would be accepting donations of relief materials from Taiwanese people.

These donated supplies will later be shipped to Slovakia to help the Ukrainian refugees that fled to the country following the Russian invasion, he added.

All these efforts are being made by Taiwan as part of a humanitarian mission to show solidarity with Ukraine, according to Wu, who applauded the Ukrainians for defending their country with "tremendous courage."

"You have been an inspiration to the Taiwanese people in facing a threat from an authoritarian regime," Wu said.

Meanwhile, Anatolii Bakurov, a Ukrainian who has lived in Taiwan for 10 years, attended Monday's press event on behalf of the Ukrainian community in the country.

Expressing gratitude for all the help being offered by Taiwan, Bakurov called the ongoing invasion launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin a "genocide" against Ukrainian people but said his country would not back down.

"What Putin did has actually united all Ukrainian people to fight together," he said.

Bakurov also reiterated the local Ukrainian community's ongoing call for Taiwan's government to allow Ukrainian refugees, especially youngsters and children who have relatives in Taiwan, to enter via a special visa or visa-free entry.

"We just hope that Taiwan's government can come up with a scheme to allow more Ukrainians to come to safer places as soon as possible," he said.

According to Bakurov, there are around 200 Ukrainians who have residency in Taiwan.

In response, Wu said that as Taiwan does not have a representative office in Ukraine and both countries have had little official interaction, it would be difficult for the government to offer visa-free entry to Ukrainians.

However, he said his ministry was holding talks with other government bodies to allow Ukrainians to come to Taiwan for certain reasons such as to study at local schools so that they can stay in the country.

These discussions are still ongoing and the government will make an official announcement if a final decision is made, said Wu.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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