Additional cyclone assistance to Tonga

Media release

9 February 2014

The Australian Government is committed to continuing to assist the people of Tonga affected by Cyclone Ian.

More than 3,500 people were left homeless when Cyclone Ian hit the Ha'apai island group last month.

Yesterday, 200 family tents and 250 hygiene kits were sent from Australia to help address the urgent needs of displaced families in Tonga.

This additional assistance builds on Australia's initial emergency response in the aftermath of Cyclone Ian of $50,000 in emergency supplies through the Tonga Red Cross Society. Further assistance to transport relief supplies under the bilateral Defence Cooperation Program was also provided.

Three technical experts from the Australian Civilian Corps are also now on the ground to assist the Tongan Government with the coordination and assessment of recovery efforts.

In response to specific requests from Tonga, Australia has provided early and well-targeted support through its existing bilateral aid program. Funding was made available for Tonga's health ministry to purchase essential drugs as well as a water pump for the main hospital in Ha'apai. Ministry of Health assessment teams were also sent to Ha'apai.

We have also worked with the World Bank to re-prioritise funds from a joint infrastructure program to rehabilitate damaged critical infrastructure, including the airport tower, the port and roads.

Australia will continue to work with the Government of Tonga and other relief partners to help those whose homes and livelihoods were destroyed by Cyclone Ian.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555