Government pledges aid for Beirut explosion victims

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TAIPEI (CNA) — Taiwan is to provide US$150,000 in humanitarian aid to the victims of the devastating Aug. 4 explosion at the port in Beirut, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced on Friday.

In a press statement, MOFA expressed the Taiwan government’s sympathies to the victims of the disaster in which a large store of ammonium nitrate exploded and said it immediately contacted the Lebanese government and international organizations with bases in Lebanon to find out the most appropriate ways to provide help.

“MOFA decided to donate the US$150,000 to help the Lebanese government and victims of the explosion to overcome the crisis and rebuild their homes,” the statement said, adding that the explosion has put Lebanon — which is already suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic — in an even more difficult situation.

The donation, made in the spirit of “Taiwan can help and Taiwan is helping,” will be used for rehabilitation work and to assist in relief projects led by the Mercy Corps, a global non-governmental humanitarian aid organization, MOFA said.

According to MOFA, at least 200 people lost their lives, more than 7,000 were injured and tens of thousands of families were left homeless by the explosion.