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Tongan Government provides financial support for affected families and vulnerable groups [EN/TO]

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Communities devastated by the tsunami triggered after the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcanic eruption on January 15, elderlies and disabilities will receive monetary support from the government.

This was announced by the Minister of Finance Hon. Tatafu Moeaki at St George’s Building during a press conference this afternoon.

Hon. Moeaki said families living in Kanokupolu, ‘Atatā, ‘Otu Mu’omu’a in Ha’apai and other communities who were significantly impacted by the disaster last week will receive $500 Pa’anga each.

He said that more than 6,000 elderlies and persons with disabilities who get monthly allowance from the government will also receive $200 Pa’anga.

He said that the affected communities who will get financial support from the government have been confirmed through the Initial Damage Assessment.

Water resources

CEO for Health Dr Siale ‘Akau’ola said after the volcanic eruption people were advised not to drink from the tank waters that were not properly covered because of contamination from ash falls.

He stated that both ground and rain water have been tested by scientists from Tonga Water Board and according to their report, water tanks that were not properly covered have not been contaminated by ash falls.

Dr ‘Akau’ola said islands in Ha’apai who does not have enough underground water can boil rain water for consumption.

Relief items distribution

The Safety & Protection Cluster members consisting of Tonga Red Cross, Tonga National Youth Congress, Caritas, Tonga Family Health and Tonga Health Association have installed tents at Kanokupolu and distributed food rations, dignity kits and hygiene kits to affected families. Counsellors were also available to provide psychosocial support for the residents. Relief items were also distributed to Ha’atafu, ‘Ahau, Patangata, Siesia, Makapaeo, Pangaimotu and Lavengamalie.

The Logistics and Coordination Cluster with support from MORDI Tonga also distributed food packs, hygiene kits, jerry cans, buckets and kitchen kits to ‘Eueiki with support and items from the Safety & Protection Cluster.

International humanitarian support

The Tongan Government has received international humanitarian support from the Governments of Australia, New Zealand, Japan and China.

As of January 21, four air force planes have landed Tonga with relief supplies, three from Australia and one from New Zealand.

New Zealand’s two naval ships HMNZS Wellington and HMNZS Aotearoa arrived Tonga this afternoon.

Issued by the: Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change & Communications