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Development assistance in Tonga

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Pillar 3 – Economic Recovery in Tonga

Overview

Australia is providing elevated levels of direct budget support to the Government of Tonga in response to recent shocks to ensure fiscal stability and economic recovery. In collaboration with the Government of Tonga and other development partners, Australia’s budget support is boosting Tonga’s social protection mechanisms, and leveraging fiscal and public sector policy reforms.

We are supporting Tonga’s key priorities in aviation, renewable energy, and nation-building infrastructure, including an upgrade to Nuku’alofa’s main port, construction of a new parliament house and office of the legislative assembly and upgrades to basic education infrastructure across all of Tonga’s island groups.

Regional programs are supporting sustainable economic development through labour mobility and agriculture and identifying opportunities for commercial growth. Australia is contributing to private sector growth through support for growers to upgrade their operations and enter export markets under the regional PHAMA+ and Market Development Facility programs. Labour mobility continues to play a significant role in Tonga’s economy through the PALM scheme.

Related initiatives

Economic and Public Sector Governance Program

$23 million, 2019 – 2022

Australia’s Economic and Public Sector Governance program supports important reforms including those that improve Tonga’s budget position and revenue, increase government efficiency and effectiveness and promote private sector development.

Related documents

Name of document Year published
Tonga Economic Governance Support (TEGS) Program Design Volume 1 - Narrative 2021
Tonga Economic Governance Support (TEGS) Program Design Volume 2 - Appendices 2021

COVID-19 Economic Response Package

$44.5 million, 2020-23

Australia’s Pacific COVID-19 Economic Response Package contributed $44.5 million to Tonga’s budget over three years (2020-2023). Budget support was used to provide emergency support to businesses, workers and to top-up social assistance payments. General budget support was also provided, linked to the multi-donor Joint Policy Reform Matrix budget operation, as well as the government’s volcanic eruption and tsunami response and recovery.

Related documents

Name of document Year published
COVID-19 Response Package Design Framework [PDF] 2021

Renewable Energy

$3.5 million for the Tonga Renewable Energy Project, 2019-24
$9.6 million for the Outer Islands Renewable Energy Project, 2013-24
$5.6 million for the Nuku’alofa Network Upgrade Project, 2022-24

Australia is supporting Tonga to achieve its renewable energy targets and reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels. We are investing in the Outer Island Renewable Energy Project and the Tonga Renewable Energy Project in partnership with the Asian Development Bank. The projects are increasing access to affordable, renewable energy throughout Tonga. Network upgrades are also ensuring the climate resilience of power supply to households and businesses.

Related documents

Name of document Year published
Tonga Renewable Energy Project 2018
Outer Island Renewable Energy Project – Design and Related Documents 2013

Safe and Resilient Schools

$7 million, 2021-2027

Led by the World Bank, the Safe and Resilient Schools Project for Tonga aims to enhance the safety and resilience of education facilities; and to improve the quality of data-driven education management, curricula, and assessments.

Related documents

Name of document Year published
Safe and Resilient Schools 2021

Parliament House and Office of the Legislative Assembly

Australia is partnering with New Zealand to design and build Tonga’s new Parliament House and Office of the Legislative Assembly, which were destroyed by Tropical Cyclone Gita in 2018. The Tonga Parliament Buildings Project aims to deliver a modern and climate resilient building design that will strengthen Tonga’s governance and democratic participation.

Queen Salote Wharf Upgrade

$31 million, 2023-2026

Australia is partnering with the Asian Development Bank to upgrade Tonga’s main international wharf.

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