Pacific radio news

$21 million extra funds to assist Tonga with cyclone recovery

Tonga will receive a total of $21 million from the New Zealand government to help the kingdom rebuild following Cyclone Gita. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is currently in Tongatapu with her Pacific Mission delegation and announced a package of $10 million to assist with the recovery efforts.

Tonga Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo/ NZHC Tonga.

She says 19 primary schools and 10 secondary schools were badly affected by the cyclone that struck three weeks ago. 

"We want to ensure Tongan school children do not suffer further disruption to their education."

Ms. Ardern and her delegation were at the Government Primary School of Fasi Moe Afi 'a Tungi earlier today and saw the tents being used temporarily as classrooms.

The Pacific Mission delegates with students at GPS Fasi moe Afi. Photo/ NZHC Tonga.

A further $11 million of funding was also announced by Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters to help upgrade Nuku'alofa's electricity network.

Matangi Tonga Online reported an initial estimation of $20 million to fix the damages to the power grid on Tongatapu and 'Eua.

Mr. Peters says the funds will upgrade the network and generate savings of around $1 million per annum for Tonga.

"This funding is for the first stage of a five year project which will improve the reliability, resilience, and safety of electricity supply for more than 2000 households and businesses in Tonga's capital."

New Zealand has already contributed $2 million of emergency relief to Pacific nations affected by Cyclone Gita - Samoa, Tonga and Fiji.


Tags: Tonga, politics,