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Tonga

OUR WORK IN TONGA

The Kingdom of Tonga is a Polynesian country that lies to the south of Samoa, southeast of Fiji and north east of New Zealand. The Tongan archipelago is comprised of 176 islands, 36 of which are inhabited by a population of approximately 106,000. The islands are divided into four main groups – Tongatapu, Ha’apai and Vava’u and the Niuas. The capital Nuku’alofa is located on the main island of Tongatapu. Tonga is a constitutional monarchy, making it unique in the Pacific. Its monarchy is over 1,000 years old and its constitution dates to 1875.

Tonga has no strategic or mineral resources, and relies on agriculture, fishing and the money sent home by Tongans living abroad, many of them in New Zealand. Unemployment is high, particularly among the young.

Characterised by tropical beaches, rainforest, earthquakes, and active volcanoes, it has a developing tourist industry – its main source of hard currency.

On January 15, 2022, the Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha‘apai undersea volcano, located about 40 miles (65 km) north of Nuku‘alofa, erupted, spewing a mix of ash, gas, and steam more than 12 miles (about 20 km) into the air and covering Tonga in thick volcanic ash. The eruption generated a devastating tsunami, and significant flooding led to extensive damage in the island nation.

For over 5 years, Oxfam has been working in collaboration with Civil Scoeity Organisatio in Tonga to strengthen their ability to influence as well as providing humanitarian support through CSOs such as The Tonga National Youth Council (TNYC) and the Civil Society Forum of Tonga (CSFT)

KEY AREAS OF WORK

OUR PROJECTS IN TONGA

Disaster preparation

Oxfam is working with Civil Society Forum of Tonga (CSFT) to strengthen CSOs in Tonga to be prepare, respond and recover from the Hunga Tonga – Hunga Ha’apai Volcanica eruption and tsunami and future disasters.

This project is part of the Australian Government’s Humanitarian Program, and a collaborative effort, involving the Australian Humanitarian Program (AHP) consortium partners and a broad cross-section of Tongan Civil society and government stakeholder, to address the immediate humanitarian and early recovery neds of those affected by Hunga Tonga- Hunga Ha’apai (HTHH) volcanic eruption and tsunami, whilst at the same time ensuring that the people of Tonga are well prepared for and more resilient to future disasters and climate change.

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