Tonga’s Ministry of Finance has secured a TOP$460,000 grant from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to help implement the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) TC Harold Response Plan, rolled out by Government on 20th April, 2020.
Minister Lavemaau stated that “ the grant approved from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Asia-Pacific Disaster Response Fund (APDRF), will fund immediate watersanitation and hygiene needs to storm surge affected areas, immediate maintenance costs of severely damaged public infrastructures, including Ha’apai causeway and the ‘Eua wharf damaged by Cylone Harold, to be accessible until fully restored. ”
The Minister reiterated “ The Government of Tonga fully acknowledges the responsiveness of the ADB APDRF providing prompt response to help Government’s depleting emergency resources. ”
He added that “ The cash grants are provided with flexible procurement requirements to use our own, to better respond, to the more frequent and intense cyclones affecting Tonga. The damages are not caused by wind alone but also include sea surges exposing climate changed affected residential areas as experienced during TC Harold in April 2020, following the highest loss from a disaster in the world as we experienced back in 2018 after TC Gita. ADB APDRF was the first to support Tonga’s COVID-19 response in 2020 and the Government appreciates ADB quick assistance following TC Harold. ” .
Tonga has also requested ADB and other development partners to support the Government’s vulnerable fiscal position, to ensure rapid response to the current coronavirus global pandemic outbreak, and simultaneously manage economic impacts both in FY2020 and FY2021.