Japan provides grant for Tonga’s new tugboat

The Ambassador of Japan to Tonga, Kensaku Munenaga, and Prime Minister Rev Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa, signed and exchanged notes for the assistance in Nuku’alofa on Friday.

Tonga’s Ministry of Public Enterprises and Ports Authority Tonga will be responsible for the tugboat.

Ambassador Munenaga said, “Maritime transportation is vital for an islands country like Tonga and Japan, and it is necessary for Tonga to enhance its maritime transportation capability for furthering economic prosperity in the Kingdom.”

New Zealand funding to help Tonga phase out Single Use Plastics

The grant was handed by New Zealand High Commissioner to Tonga Tiffany Babington to the Chief Executive Officer of MEIDECC, Paula Ma’u today.

Besides organic waste, plastic is the second largest waste component in Tonga.

Although the Government of Tonga approved a ban on and the phasing out of single-use plastics in 2019, there is not yet any policy, plan or legislation in place to ensure the phase out commences.

ADB provides Tonga with $6 million for COVID-19 assistance

A state of emergency was declared in Tonga on 20 March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The public health emergency and closure of its borders have put pressure on Tonga’s health systems and the broader economy. The government has announced a 60 million pa’anga short-term assistance Programme to combat COVID-19. ADB’s assistance will support the upgrading of local health care facilities; fund logistics to lock down the country’s border; and provide relief for the elderly, the unemployed, and vulnerable businesses such as tourism, retail, agriculture, and transport.

ADB funds programme to support fiscal resilience, growth in Tonga

“The grant and loan will fund the first of three subprogrammes of the ADB-supported Building Macroeconomic Resilience Programme for Tonga,” said Johannes Wolff, Public Finance Economist from ADB’s Pacific Department.

“The assistance is policy-based, meaning the funds can be released as budget support once policy actions outlined in the programme are successfully completed, as they have been in subprogramme one.”