Maui News

Additional $2.5M to aid Tonga in aftermath of destructive volcanic eruption

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Congressman Ed Case (HI-01) today announced that the US State Department’s Agency for International Development is providing an additional $2.5 million in critical assistance to the Kingdom of Tonga in the aftermath of the destructive eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai volcano.

“This funding is in addition to the initial $100,000 already provided to the Tonga Red Cross Society that will fund critical water, sanitation and hygiene supplies and support disease prevention campaigns to reduce the spread of infectious disease,” said Case.

The humanitarian aid comes after the underwater volcano erupted on Jan. 15, 2022 local time in Tonga, the biggest recorded anywhere on the planet in 30 years which triggered widespread damage to Tonga as well as a tsunami that was felt across the Pacific.

Earlier this week, Case and his fellow co-chairs of the bipartisan Pacific Islands Caucus in the US House sent a letter to President Biden, with copies to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and USAID Administrator Samantha Power, urging immediate and full action to assist Tonga.

The letter states: “Given reports of extensive damage from both the tsunami and ashfall, we are deeply concerned for the health and welfare of the roughly 100,000 residents of Tonga.”

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In their letter, the Members of Congress added: “We stand ready to work with you to ensure that assistance is promptly delivered to address this ongoing disaster and that support continues as Tonga rebuilds.”

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