Aust provides $16m to Tonga

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Australia will send an additional $16 million to help rebuild Tonga’s infrastructure after January’s tsunami. -EPA

Australia will provide an additional $16 million to support Tonga’s recovery from the devastating volcanic eruption and tsunami earlier this year.

Three people were killed in the January 15 tsunami, while dozens of homes were destroyed, drinking water was contaminated and the country’s main internet connection was cut.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne said on Saturday the $16 million would help rebuild Tonga’s critical infrastructure, including telecommunications and government services.

Australia will also provide 54,990 Pfizer vaccines in partnership with Tongan health authorities to support the country’s response to COVID-19.

Ms Payne said Australia would continue to coordinate aid with New Zealand, Japan, the UK and the US.

“Our collective approach has strengthened cooperation in humanitarian assistance and disaster response in the region,” she said in a statement.

Australia initially provided $3 million in humanitarian aid, along with Australian Defense Force personnel to help with the cleanup.


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