WASHINGTON, July 18, 2018 – Thousands of students in the Pacific Island of Tonga will be safer from natural disasters thanks to upgraded school buildings, supported by an additional US$14.95 million project approved today by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors. The funding will extend the Pacific Resilience Program’s support to the government of Tonga in delivering early warning systems, resilient investments, and financial protection against natural disasters.
The wait for assistance after Cyclone Gita is adding to the stress of Tongans who suffered losses in the February storm, an NGO says.
Read the full story on Radio New Zealand International.
17th July 2018 The Safety and Protection Cluster was allocated $300,000.00TOP from the National Emergency Recovery Committee (NERC) to address psychosocial support and to enact social provisions that would assist individuals who have been dealing with the stress of losing their homes and other issues stemming from the worst cyclone to hit Tonga - Tropical Cyclone Gita (TC Gita) that occurred on that 12th February 2018.
Limited take-up so far is linked to small island nations' reluctance to foot the bill for the effects of climate change, says insurance expert
By Jared Ferrie
PHNOM PENH, June 29 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Pacific island nations are some of the world's most disaster-prone countries, yet only a handful have signed up to an insurance scheme that dispenses rapid payouts in a crisis – a situation experts hope to change.
The United Nations says only about 8 percent of disaster losses are covered in the Asia-Pacific region.
29th June 2018: In June 21 2018, the signing of the Grant Agreement (GA) of $56 million pa’anga between the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga by the Hon. Prime Minister of Tonga, Hon. Samiuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva and Resident Representative of JICA Tonga Office Mr. Shinji Yoshiura.
The Grant Contract formalizing the Government of Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Project to Malia Tupu ‘i Makulata Primary School, was signed between H.E Mr. Tetsuya Ishii, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan in Tonga, and Father Newcastle Niukapu, Principal of Malia Tupu ‘i Makulata Primary School on Wednesday 27 June, 2018.
1. The Due Diligence / Social Compliance Report (DDR) is for the proposed candidate subproject of the Climate Resilience Sector Project (CRSP) - Upgrading the evacuation and post disaster access road for Popua in Tongatapu; upgrading additional Government Primary Schools (GPS) in Tongatapu, which are the GPS Ngele’ia and the GPS Hala-‘o-Vave; and relocating of Lifuka, Ha’apai hospital from vulnerable area to higher ground. ADB has classified the proposed subproject as Category C for Involuntary Resettlement – meaning, “Additional candidate sector …
22nd June 2018 The Government of Tonga and JICA signed a Grant Agreement of 2.8 billion Japanese Yen (equivalent to around $56 million pa’anga) for the implementation of Nationwide Early Warning System and Strengthening Disaster Communication (NEWS) Project this morning at the Cabinet chamber, St. George Office Building.
Prime Minister of Tonga and Minister for Foreign Affairs Hon. Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva signed on behalf of the Government of Tonga and Resident Representative, JICA Tonga Office Mr. Shinji Yoshiura signed on behalf of the Government of Japan.
Tonga's budget will meet the country's needs despite its focus being on long term recovery from February's Cyclone Gita, the country's finance minister says.
Read more on Radio New Zealand International.
NUKU’ALOFA, TONGA (18 June 2018) — The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved a $6.8 million grant to help reconstruct and improve disaster resilience of the Nuku’alofa electricity network that was damaged by Cyclone Gita in February 2018. The support follows the $6 million assistance ADB provided to the Government of Tonga on 16 February under the Pacific Disaster Resilience Program and an additional $1 million under the ADB-supported Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund for humanitarian relief efforts on 22 February.
Tonga's government has set aside another $US48 million in its latest budget towards recovery from February's Cyclone Gita.
Read more on Radio New Zealand International
15th June, 2018 Deputy Prime Minister of Tonga, the Hon Semisi Sika and other senior government representatives, have surveyed areas of Tongatapu and ‘Eua damaged by Tropical Cyclone Gita earlier this year with the Australian Defence Force. Two helicopters from HMAS Adelaide transported Deputy Prime Semisi Sika, Lord Speaker Fakafanua, Disaster Management Minister Poasi Tei and MP for ‘Eua Tevita Lavemaauover the islands to inspect recovery progress from the air.
30th May 2018 More than 20 participants from line ministries and private sectors are attending a one and a half-day workshop on Country Gender Assessment of Agriculture and Rural Livelihoods Validation at the Basilica conference room.
The workshop is hosted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs through the Women’s Affairs Division aiming to improve the comprehension of gender perspectives of rural livelihoods in order to develop effective strategies to support food security, nutrition and resilience.
25th May, 2018 Following Cyclone Gita in February 2018, the damage assessment found that approximately 75 percent of Primary schools, 88 percent of Secondary schools and 56 percent of Tertiary Institutes across Tongatapu and ‘Eua were directly affected. A total of 109 out of 150 schools with an estimated 23, 000 students at all levels of education were affected.
18th May, 2018 **The Exchange of Notes for Japan’s 2.8 billion Japanese Yen (equivalent to approximately 56 million pa’anga) General Grant Aid for the Project for “Nationwide Early Warning System (NEWS) and Strengthening Disaster Communications” for the Kingdom of Tonga, were singed by Mr. Kazuyuki Nakane, State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Hon. Semisi Kioa Lafu Sika, Tonga’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Tourism on 16 May 2018 in Tokyo, Japan.**
Tonga's Ministry of Finance says February's tropical cyclone Gita inflicted $US156 million worth of damage to the islands of Tongatapu and 'Eua.
Read more on Radio New Zealand International.
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) opened its 74th session in Bangkok on 14 May 2018, with a strong call for strengthening multilateralism and regional integration to tackle rising inequalities in the region.
ESCAP is taking steps to advance more balanced, equitable growth in Asia and the Pacific by advocating for the strengthening of social protection systems, enhancing financial inclusion, raising education spending, reducing vulnerability to environmental hazards, and closing the ICT digital divide.
11th May 2018
The World Bank has undertaken to provide financial assistance for the second phase of the reconstruction as a result of Cyclone Gita. However that assistance is not likely to be received until later in the year and because of that, Cabinet has made the following decisions –
That the Government will fund part of the material for the rebuilding of schools affected by Cyclone Gita;
That all building material that are to be imported for the above purpose be exempted from import duty;
Tonga benefits from Climate and Ocean Support Program in the Pacific Nuku’alofa, Tonga- The Climate and Oceans Support Program in the Pacific (COSPPac) officially opened its eleventh steering committee meeting and final planning meeting for phase 1 this morning. The week-long meeting will include consultation on the work plan for COSPPac Phase 2, the planned four-year continuation of Australian assistance to Pacific Island Countries.
02nd May, 2018 The Climate Change Trust Fund (CCTF) approved a total of four Water Tank project proposals for Pangai, Fangale’ounga, Ha’ano and ‘Uiha of the Ha’apai Islands. The successful applicants will each be given fifteen water tanks, collecting up to 5,000 litres per tank.