The U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing nearly $1.1 million to boost the capacity of Tongan communities to prepare for and mitigate the impacts of natural disasters, particularly for the most vulnerable members of the community.
Implemented by Act for Peace, USAID’s new two-year disaster risk reduction project will work with the Tongan National Council for Churches to support nearly 9,000 people across 27 of the island nation’s most remote communities.
“The U.S. government recognizes that national and local entities play a key role in responding to emergencies,” Ambassador Joseph Cella said. “In total transparency, the U.S. government is committed to strengthen the ability of Tongan communities to make themselves more resilient and better able to handle the impacts of extreme weather events and other natural disasters.”
With USAID support, Act for Peace will identify and rehabilitate remote evacuation centers to ensure they are safe and accessible to all community members; provide training to village emergency management committees on ensuring disaster plans meet the specific needs of persons with disabilities; and improve reliable access to safe drinking water in these remote communities. This program will also increase local communities’ coordination with Tonga’s National Emergency Management Office
The U.S. government, through USAID, works with governments and civil society in Pacific Island countries to help communities prepare for disasters and strengthen their capacity to respond to disasters as part of their journey to self-reliance.