MOFA will pay for delivery of donated supplies to Ukraine

The ministry had only planned to cover the cost of delivering 50 tons of supplies, but the Taiwanese donated 650 tons

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said on Monday it would pay for the delivery of supplies for Ukrainian refugees to Europe from its own budget, although it could cost up to NT$200 million ($6.82 million). of dollars).

The ministry did not seek help from the Executive Yuan to cover delivery costs and would not draw funds from a special account containing donations for Ukrainian refugees, it said in a statement.

He was responding to a media report that said he had asked the Executive Yuan to allocate funds to pay for freight, which Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) said could cost up to NT$200 million.

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

The ministry collected 650 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 the invasion of their country by the Russia.

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

The ministry allocated only NT$16 million to cover the delivery of the planned 50 tons of supplies, but an unexpected wave of support resulted in a higher transport bill, putting pressure on its international aid budget of 370 million. NT dollars, Lo said.

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

Yuan executive spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) said on Monday that the ministry had not asked him for help.

The special account set up by the government raised a total of NT$930 million in donations for Ukraine from late March to early April, the ministry said.

Some of the money has already been returned to neighboring countries hosting Ukrainian refugees, with $5 million remaining in the account, he added.

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