Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP and Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells announced additional humanitarian assistance to support Tongan communities devastated by Tropical Cyclone Gita on 16 February 2018.
The additional funding bring Australia’s total assistance for people affected by Tropical Cyclone Gita to AU$3.5 million.
Australia released and deployed $350,000 in life-saving equipment including emergency shelter, kitchen and hygiene kits to assist over 2,000 people in need following a request from the Tongan Government on Tuesday 13 February. The first Australian Defence Force C-17 Globemaster landed at Fua’amotu the same day.
The additional funding of $3 million will support the work of the Red Cross Movement, the Tongan Women and Children's Crisis Centre and Australian NGOs as they deliver urgent help to affected communities, such as shelter and protection services for women and children.
Australia will also support the Government of Tonga's longer term recovery efforts, for example through helping to restore critical infrastructure and health and education services.
Prior to striking Tonga, Gita struck Samoa as a Category Two storm. In response to a request from the Samoan Government, Australia will provide $155,000 to support debris clearance, aerial surveillance and food assistance for those who have been displaced. An Australian structural engineer will assist with damage assessments.
Australia stands by our close friends and neighbours in the Pacific.