Taiwan to donate US$250,000 for post-quake relief in Indonesia

Taipei, Aug. 8 (CNA) Taiwan's government Wednesday announced plans to donate US$250,000 to Indonesia to help with relief work in the wake of a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that left scores dead in the popular tourist destination of Lombok.The earthquake struck Lombok on Sunday evening, killing more than 100 people, according to official figures.In the wake of the tragedy, President Tsai Ing-wen said on Twitter Monday: "My thoughts are with the victims of the deadly earthquake in Lombok, Indonesia. Taiwan stands ready to help our Indonesian friends at this difficult time."At a Wednesday press conference, Baushuan Ger , head of the foreign ministry's Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, announced that Taiwan will donate US$250,000 to assist relief efforts in the Southeast Asian country.However, Ger said the details of the donation will not be announced until a later date. Taiwan's representative office in Indonesia is currently in talks with local officials and NGOs to see how the money can best be used to help victims of the quake, he noted.During an interview with CNA Monday, Indonesian special envoy to Taiwan, Ang Tjoen Ming, said he hoped Taiwan's donation could be used to help quake victims build 100 houses after many homes were damaged or destroyed in Lombok.Expressing Taiwan's concern over the earthquake, Ger said Indonesia is an important partner in Taiwan's New Southbound Policy. A large number of Indonesian workers are currently working in Taiwan while another 6,000 students from the country attend schools here, he added.There are currently 259,930 Indonesian workers in Taiwan out of a total foreign workforce of 670,000, according to the Ministry of the Interior.Meanwhile, Ger said Taiwan's representative office in Indonesia has been in contact with 17 Taiwanese tourists who were in Lombok during the earthquake and all are confirmed to be safe.