ADB and Australia to Help Tonga Improve Living Conditions in Nuku'alofa

NUKU’ALOFA, TONGA – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Australia, through the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), are assisting the Government of Tonga to improve living conditions in the Tongan capital Nuku’alofa through better service delivery.

ADB’s Board of Directors has approved a $6.06 million grant for the $14.59 million Nuku’alofa Urban Development Sector Project. The grant is sourced from ADB’s Special Funds resources. The Australian government will provide grant co-financing of about $6.44 million equivalent. The Government of Tonga is providing the remaining $2.09 million.

The capital is home to 40% of Tonga’s population, where development is increasing due to rapid population growth. Migration to Tonga’s capital is also increasing, putting undue pressure on service delivery. As a result, living conditions for many residents are deteriorating fast.

The project targets six different components of Nuku’alofa’s urban services, including water supply and solid waste services. It will also bolster community awareness of urban services such as planning, household management of solid waste, and the public health benefits of safe waste disposal.

“Effective, efficient, and sustainable delivery of water supply and solid waste management services in Nuku’alofa are the ultimate aims of this project,” said Steve Blaik, Senior Urban Development Specialist from ADB’s Pacific Department.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members -- 48 from the region. In 2010, ADB approvals, including co-financing, totaled $17.51 billion. In addition, ADB's ongoing Trade Finance Program supported $2.8 billion in trade.