New Zealand gives extra $2M to Tonga’s recovery

Source: 1News

New Zealand will be providing Tonga with an additional $2 million in humanitarian funding as it recovers from last week’s devastating volcanic eruption and tsunami, the Government has announced. It takes New Zealand’s contribution to $3m.

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta said the additional funding would allow drinking water, food supplies, and engineering and clean-up equipment to be sent to Tonga.

Of the $2m, $1.5m would go towards providing more relief supplies and increasing the ability for water to be generated on Tonga, Mahuta said.

The remaining $500,000 will fund Kiwi NGOs working with other local organisations in Tonga working on the response.

“This money will also fund relief activity undertaken by local authorities and humanitarian organisations, and other requests from the Tongan Government as required,” she said.

Mahuta said she had spoken to her Tongan counterpart Fekitamoeloa ‘Utoikamanu on Friday to discuss relief efforts.

"I have assured her that we stand by to offer more assistance when needed."

Defence Minister Peeni Henare also announced that HMNZS Canterbury would leave Devonport for Tonga overnight, joining two other New Zealand ships that had been sent.

“The HMNZS Canterbury will have on board additional stores such as tarpaulins, water containers, milk powder, as well as engineering equipment to clear debris and two NH-90 helicopters,” Henare said.

He said all deliveries would be contactless in accordance with Tonga's Covid-19 rules.

The Defence Force’s C-130 Hercules arrived in Tonga on Thursday, carrying relief supplies.

Henare said more flights were scheduled.

Photos of the aftermath of Saturday’s tsunami and eruption were emerging from the islands as limited connections were restored.

On Thursday, photos showed significant damage to houses in Tonga's capital Nukuʻalofa.

Authorities confirmed three people were killed in Saturday’s events — two Tongans and a British national.