The Latvian government will donate LVL 100,000 (about USD 197,700 or EUR 141,500) from an emergency fund to help Japan deal with the effects of last week’s massive earthquake and tsunami.
The Cabinet of Ministers approved the expenditure during a closed meeting March 15 after hearing a report from Foreign Minister Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis, according to the Foreign Ministry’s press office.
Exactly how the funds will be used is to be determined in a forthcoming meeting and will be coordinated with European Union officials, according to the press office.
During a March 14 government meeting called to consider how the country could help Japan, Kristovskis said Latvia might be able to provide a rehabilitation or convalescence program for victims, according to a Foreign Ministry press release. Latvia is not prepared to send rescue teams or special equipment.
So far, Latvia’s embassy in Tokyo has confirmed the whereabouts of 74 Latvian nationals who were in Japan at the time of the March 11 earthquake, which registered 8.9 on the Richter scale. Especially hard hit was northern Japan, including the city of Sendai, where a tsunami hit the coast minutes after the earthquake.
Some of the Latvian nationals have already returned home, according to the Foreign Ministry.
The Latvian Red Cross (Latvijas Sarkanais Krusts) is coordinating local donations to international relief efforts through its website www.redcross.lv.
The Latvian embassy in Tokyo. (Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs photo)
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