NZ supports Tonga recovery effort post Cyclone
RT HON JACINDA ARDERN
Tonga will receive $10 million in assistance to help recover from the major damage done by Cyclone Gita Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.
“Cyclone Gita destroyed or partially damaged around 2000 homes in Tonga. Many communities are still without power and schools are without essential materials. It is a huge burden on so many families in Tonga and we are helping them recover,” Jacinda Ardern says.
“Our package will support the Government of Tonga’s recovery planning and will focus on the restoration of the electricity network and helping children continue their schooling.
“In total, 19 primary schools and ten secondary schools suffered major damage during Cyclone Gita and we want to ensure Tongan school children do not suffer further disruption to their education.
“New Zealand is already heavily involved in supporting the electricity sector in Tonga so it makes sense for us to focus on helping restore power to homes and communities. The electricity network is also vital to restoring other essential services such as water.
“New Zealand is committed to standing with our Pacific neighbours during times on natural disaster and we know first-hand how difficult the recovery effort can be following a significant event,” Jacinda Ardern said.
Both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Ministry of Education will work with the Tongan Government to provide school materials and assistance aimed at getting schools back up and running as soon as possible.
The Prime Minister is currently in Tonga leading the 2018 Pacific Mission.