A fundraiser organised by the Tongan High Commission in Australia netted AU$463,679, which was handed to the Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni on Thursday in Sydney.
The charity, Fakaliku Tonga Fund, was initiated by the High Commission to help recovery efforts in Tonga.
Tonga’s High Commissioner to Australia, Princess Angelika Låtüfuipeka Tuku’aho, said the money was raised from all walks of life in Australia.
“The Fakaliku Tonga Fund is made up of generous donations from so many sources who were all concerned to help Tonga,” she said.
“These include High Commissions and Embassies, regional and local Australian governments, local Tongan and other communities, churches, the business communities, and a number of school fund-raising ventures.”
SPREP offers help
The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme said it was deeply concerned about the impact of the Hunga Tonga – Hunga Ha’apai underwater volcano eruption and tsunami on the people of the Kingdom of Tonga.
Director General, Kosi Latu said SPREP was standing by and ready to work with the Government of Tonga and partners to provide support, especially in dealing with the environmental impact of the natural disaster.
According to the Tongan government, about 84 per cent of the population was directly affected. The main ongoing challenges are access to safe water, ash clearance, ensuring food security and dealing with COVID-19 .
Mr Latu said the Pacific environmental regional organisation will help to assess the impacts of the eruption and tsunami on Tonga’s environment, and appropriate measures to restore it.
The Pacific Islands include the top three countries with the highest disaster risk listed in the World Risk Index 2021 Report, with Tonga listed as third, Vanuatu as first and Solomon Islands second.