[Photo Credit: RNZ]
Tonga’s Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni says his government’s national priority is to rebuild back better.
In his address to the United Nations General Assembly, he said Tongans would never forget January 15, the day of the Hunga-Ha’apai volcanic explosion which was followed by a tsunami.
Hu’akavameiliku said then in February, Tonga was hit by another disaster, which was the community outbreak of Covid-19.
He said his government must build national resilience against external threats and risks.
“We must improve the quality of services and affordability to the community and achieve progressive and sustainable economic growth. We are committed to reducing the risk and harmful effects of natural disasters, particularly through risk-informed development efforts through enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response”, he said.
Hu’akavameiliku said the economic and social damage as well as the loss of life following the eruption and tsunami is estimated by the World Bank at 36.4 percent of Tonga’s GDP.