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Cabinet approves one million pa’anga for the coronavirus operations

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 6/03/2020

The Cabinet has approved to allocate one million pa’anga for the operations required as part of the Government’s awareness program on coronavirus.

The Finance Minister Hon. Tevita Lavemaau says during a press conference, the fund includes completing requirements needed for returning the Tongan sports teams in Britain.

Lavemaau adds, part of the allocated fund was also given to the Ministry of Health to set up a temporary isolation unit in case of coronavirus reaching our shores, it also includes emergency equipment and supplies such as hand sanitizers and face masks among others.

The Finance Minister also said the World Bank has committed $12bn USD in aid for developing countries coping with the spread of the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, CEO of Finance – Balwyn Fa’otusia says, there are other monetary assistance from international organisations such as the Asian Development Bank – ADB. Fa’otusia says, under the Pacific Disaster Resilience Program of ADB, they have offered $6.5 million USD to assist Tonga and other Pacific countries in times of an emergency.

However, Fa’otusia says, the fund will only be available for emergency cases in the Pacific.

The Ministry of Finance works in close partnership with related stakeholders to ensure the financial assistances fund all emergency supplies and equipment during this time.

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