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Papua New Guinea Delivers Disaster Relief Supplies to Tonga

Wahyu Dwi Anggoro - 31 January 2022 11:59 WIB
Papua New Guinea Delivers Disaster Relief Supplies to Tonga
Around 80 per cent of the Tongan population has been affected by the eruption and tsunami. (photo:medcon.id)
Port moresby: The Government of Papua New Guinea has approved an aggregate sum of K10 million in relief and reconstruction assistance to the Kingdom of Tonga following the undersea volcanic eruption on January 15.

Prime Minister James Marape said Cabinet has approved the relief assistance as PNG being a member of the Pacific Community is the bigger of all the small island countries and is looked upon as an important player.
"We should therefore, rise to the needs of our smaller and more vulnerable island neighbors in their time of natural disaster and needs," he said in a press release on Monday.

"With Cabinet’s approval, the Government of PNG is to provide a two phased assistance package; beginning with a K5 million for urgent life-saving disaster relief supplies such as water, tent, food and emergency supplies. The second phase assistance will be a further K5 million for rehabilitation, restoration and reconstruction of the lives, communities badly affected by the under-sea volcanic eruption and Tonga in general," he explained.

The first phase of the assistance will be coordinated through the National Disaster Office in conjunction with the Department of Defense for the relief assistance to be delivered. The second phase of the assistance will be channeled through the Department of Foreign Affairs to be made available to the disaster relief effort at an appropriate time.

The Prime Minister has noted the long standing historical and traditional relations PNG has with the Kingdom of Tonga dating back to the eighteenth century (1900s) with the arrival of the first Tongan missionaries to Papua New Guinea.

"It is the true Pacific Way, as a family member of the Pacific Islands Forum for us to come to the aid of our other brothers and sisters in their times of need and trouble. PNG’s assistance is to support the relief efforts presently made predominantly by Australia and New Zealand in the region with the provision of much needed relief supplies such as temporary shelter, hygiene supplies, drinking water, rations, water containers etc. to protect lives and welfare from further peril,” he said.

Prime Minister Marape said his Government has secured Cabinet’s concurrence and approval to provide financial assistance to assist in the rehabilitation, restoration and rebuilding of the lives and welfare of the people and Kingdom of Tonga to return to normalcy.

It is in line with the WHO’s country Office in Tonga recommending for bilateral, regional and multilateral partners to look at financial support as the best option towards supporting Tonga with its recovery and re-construction efforts from this disaster.

Three confirmed casualties had been reported earlier with the inclusion of a British national from the unprecedented natural disaster in the form of undersea volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami waves that have hit the Kingdom of Tonga on January 15.

Around 80 per cent of the Tongan population has been affected by the eruption and tsunami with residents from the badly hit island, including one where all homes were destroyed, have been moved to evacuation centers.

Meanwhile, PNG has been notified that four (4) of its nationals living in Tonga at the time of the disaster have sought the assistance of the New Zealand Government and is establishing contact with them to find out their status.

(WAH)

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