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The Taiwan Red Cross Delivers Condolence Money to Victims of the 0206 Tainan Earthquake

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On March 26th, the Taiwan Red Cross delivered condolence money to the victims affected by the 0206 Tainan Earthquake. Following the designated uses specified by the United States, Japan, and China, the delivery includes condolence money for the bereaved or those injured in the disaster, monetary support for injured victims in need of recovery care, monetary support for amputees, emergency welfare funding, relocation funding, and funding to replace damaged household appliances. There were a total of 97 cases which include 188 beneficiaries received benefits, and the funds amounted to $19.08 million NTD. Currently the TRC staff continues to work extra hours to process applications and projects concerning the 0206 Tainan Earthquake.

The delivery of the condolence money took place in Kun Shan Elementary School in Yongkang District, Tainan City. The TRC President Wang arrived in the early morning to offer words of comfort to the victims of the 0206 Tainan Earthquake. She then paid a visit to Zong-Dian Lee, who is now rehabilitating at the National Cheng Kung University Hospital after his lower limb amputation, and offered him a $3 million NTD rehabilitation fund. Robert C. DeWitt, Chief of the AIT Kaohsiung Branch Office and Fumio Yamashita, Vice Director General of the Interchange Association (Japan) Kaohsiung Office were also present at the Kun Shan Elementary School. Far Eastern Department Stores and Philips Taiwan Ltd also sent their staffs to assist in the delivery project. Fwusow Industry contributed 300 dishes of sesame oil chicken and provided sesame oil and vegetable oil for each household. The delicious smell of the sesame oil chicken comforts everyone’s heart.

According to Mr. DeWitt, the United States had cooperated with the Taiwan Red Cross to provide support to the victims of Typhoon Morakot in 2009. They were very grateful for the TRC staff’s professional assistance and value their long-term partnership. The United States sincerely hopes that this $500 thousand USD donation contributed by the American people can assist the victims of the 0206 Tainan Earthquake to recover and return to their everyday lives as early as possible. “The process of rebuilding and reconstructing can be a long one, and we hope our friends in Tainan can remember that the AIT and the American people are always on your side!” said Mr. DeWitt. Mr. Yamashita also mentioned that Taiwan had showed a great concern and support to Japan after the 311 Earthquake, and it is now the time for Japan to give a hand to the victims of the 0206 Tainan Earthquake and accompany them to go through their rebuilding and rehabilitating process.

For the convenience of the applicants, the TRC staff and volunteers provided on-site services from 9:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. The applicant only needed to bring his/her personal name seal and ID to the designated classroom in Kun Shan Elementary School located at No. 72, Guoguang 5th St., Yongkang Dist., Tainan City. The TRC staff and volunteers then delivered the granted condolence money in checks, the Far Eastern Department Stores vouchers (for those whose houses have collapsed or is on the red list), and small household appliances (electric rice cooker and lighting appliances) provided by Philips. The application period for monetary support for all categories opened in mid-February and will close at the end of March. Those who meet the requirements yet have not submitted the application should do so as soon as possible.

The Taiwan Red Cross has approved 34 applicants who applied for monetary support for educational fees. Among the approved applicants, each kindergarten, elementary, and middle school beneficiary receives NTD $10,000 (there were 17 schools of 26 beneficiaries), each high school beneficiary receives NTD $40,000 (2 schools of 2 beneficiaries), and each college beneficiary receives NTD $50,000 (3 schools of 6 beneficiaries). In order to speed up the process, the Taiwan Red Cross cooperated with the schools to verify the requirements and deliver the money. The funds amounted to NTD $640 thousands. In addition, approximately 50 schools were affected by the earthquake and are in need of renovation. The Taiwan Red Cross has already entrusted the Taiwan Construction Research Institute to survey and inspect each site. The Taiwan Red Cross will reach consensus with the schools as soon as the survey and inspections are done and will then hire construction contractors to begin the renovation projects and supervise over the renovation stages.

The Taiwan Red Cross did not actively fundraise for the 0206 Tainan Earthquake, and yet the USAID promised to donate $500 thousand USD, which still needs to go through remittance processing. In addition, the Taiwan Red Cross has received $1.2 million USD from the Japanese government, $2 million RMB from the Red Cross Society of China, $5 million RMB from the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), $100 thousand USD from Korea, and $50 thousand USD from Macau Red Cross, which have all been remitted. The Taiwan Red Cross also contributed $50 thousand NTD worth of housewares vouchers, and we would like to express our gratitude for household appliances donations from Philips Taiwan Ltd and drinks and gifts served at the delivery site supplied by Far Eastern Department Stores. The Taiwan Red Cross will continue to uphold our original intentions, and the appropriation of funds shall be strictly followed. The Taiwan Red Cross strives to live up to the expectations of each and every one of our contributor.