Republic of Korea donates $2 million to Maui recovery and relief efforts
Organizations around the state and the world are rallying to support the people Maui in the wake of tragic wildfires that razed Lahaina to the ground and left at least 106 people dead.
Among those supporting Maui is the Republic of Korea, which has donated $2 million to support the recovery of Maui and its people. Of that money, $1.5 million in cash donations will go toward the Hawai‘i Community Foundation.
“On behalf of my government and Korean people I’d like to express my deepest condolences to the people of Maui who lost loved ones and property,” said Lee Seo Young, Consul-General of the Republic of Korea in Honolulu, during a press conference this morning. “I hope people of Maui recover from damages as soon as possible.”
Micah Kane, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hawai‘i Community Foundation, said this money will be the largest one-time contribution by any organization entity or country to date, adding it will have significant impact on the long- and short-term recovery efforts.
Many of the donations coming to Maui are going through the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, which is working with organizations and Maui County to get the resources where they are most needed.
“We’re still in rapid response mode,” Kane said, adding essential needs like medical care and mental health care are a priority.
The foundation has also been trying to support organizations providing communication services. Some of this new sum of money will help in those efforts.
Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke thanked the Republic of Korea adding the recovery of Lahaina is going to be a long haul.
“We’re not going to be able to do it without support and will continue to need support,” she said. “It will take years for Lahaina to recover.”
A coordinated effort between the state and Maui organizations and nonprofits is underway to collect, store and inventory supplies donated to Maui County to support victims of the wildfires in Kula and Lahaina.
Luke asked that donations not be shipped directly to Maui County unless there is someone on island to receive it. Additionally, officials are asking that items not be dropped off at any of the shelters set up throughout central Maui to assist evacuees.