Tonga will receive a US$3.1 million grant from the Asian Development Bank to help it deal
with the effects of climate change.
The money is part of a package of loans and grants being made to Tonga, Samoa and Tuvalu.
A total of US$15 million will go to the three countries to help them respond more quickly to
disasters and to begin re-building earlier.
Grants of US$2.9 million will also go to Samoa and Tonga and US$3 million to Tuvalu.
An additional US$2 million for technical assistance will help the three countries work on
priority projects and share their experiences.
ADB Pacific Climate Change Specialist Hanna Uusimaa said early recovery and
reconstruction after disasters would significantly reduce the secondary economic and social
costs normally caused by delays.
The funding grew out of the Bank’s experience in the Cook Islands, which was lent US$10 to fund a disaster resilience programme.
As Kaniva News reported last month, the Asian Development Bank has ranked Tonga second in the list of Pacific countries at risk from climate change.
Tonga was already experiencing the effects of climate change, as increasing variability in
rainfall patterns caused more severe flooding and droughts.
Rising ocean temperatures had led to coral bleaching and destroyed natural coastal barriers, and sea level rise is contributing to coastal erosion.
Tropical cyclones and storm surges had led to significant economic losses.