(Source: European Commission)
Following a request for assistance, the EU is channelling aid to Tonga in the aftermath of the volcanic eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai and tsunami in the South Pacific. A first vessel departed today from French Polynesia to deliver assistance to the affected islands.
Via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, the EU is coordinating with France the delivery of 30 tons of aid, including two water purification units, 4,000 litres of drinking water, hygiene kits, family tents, tool kits for shelters, ropes, jerry cans and non-perishable food boxes. The European Commission coordinates the delivery and finances 75% of the transporting costs. This material aid comes in addition to €200,000 in initial EU emergency humanitarian aid funding for the Tonga Red Cross Society to assist the most affected communities.
On this occasion, European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič said: ”The EU stands in full solidarity with the people of Tonga at this difficult time while the assessment of the disaster impact is ongoing. With European support being already on its way, I deeply thank France for their immediate help. Our thoughts are with all those affected and with the national first responders on the scene. The EU stands ready to provide further assistance and expertise”.
The European Union’s 24/7 Emergency Response Coordination Centre is in regular contact with the Tongan authorities and the EU Delegation in Fiji. In addition, the EU’s Copernicus emergency satellite service has produced images from space to assess the extent of destruction all across the Tonga archipelago.