Priorities of the People: Hardship in Tonga

Publication | May 2004
Priorities of the People: Hardship in Tonga

In Tonga, hardship and poverty are becoming daily concerns for many due to increasing needs for cash, emigration from the outer islands to urban areas and overseas, and crowded conditions in some urban areas.

To better understand the nature of hardship and poverty in Tonga and develop strategies for addressing the perceived needs of the people, the government undertook a Participatory Assessment of Hardship in 2003 with assistance from the Asian Development Bank. The assessment team consulted village and church leaders, elders, women, youth, and community members who were perceived to be suffering most from hardship.

The results of this assessment are presented, along with photographs and personal stories.


  • Introduction
  • Is Hardship Really a Problem in Tonga?
  • What is Hardship?
  • Who is Facing Hardship?
  • What Causes Hardship?
  • What Can Be Done?