MANILA, PHILIPPINES (8 March 2022) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today announced a $1.03 million (2.23 million pa’anga) grant to the Government of Tonga from its Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund (APDRF) to help finance the country’s response to community transmission of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Tonga reported its first confirmed case last month and has seen a surge to more than 1,000 confirmed cases as of 7 March. Tonga is experiencing localized community transmission of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and declared a state of public health emergency on 17 February 2022.
“This grant, with co-contribution from the Government of Japan, will complement government resources and other development partner assistance in providing financing to expand health service delivery as Tonga navigates two disasters—a public health emergency and the aftermath of the tsunami in January,” said ADB Director General for the Pacific Leah Gutierrez.
ADB’s support will help alleviate Tonga’s immediate financial, logistic, and other constraints to meet immediate response needs and deliver medical services where required. The APDRF grant will complement ADB’s past and current response to Tonga on both COVID-19 and post-eruption of the Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha’apai undersea volcano on 15 January.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.