Singapore to donate $67,000 to Tonga relief efforts

Members of Tonga Red Cross Society engaging in relief works on Jan 23, 2022, after the volcanic eruption. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - The Government will contribute US$50,000 (S$67,000) to support Tonga through the Singapore Red Cross (SRC), said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Wednesday (Jan 26).

This comes after the SRC pledged $50,000 to the Tonga Red Cross on Jan 18, three days after the country was devastated by an underwater volcanic eruption.

Due to the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano, a tsunami that was triggered destroyed villages and resorts, knocking out communications for the nation of around 105,000 people.

The MFA said in a press statement that this donation from the Government would contribute to relief and recovery efforts in Tonga and supplement the SRC's pledge. It is also expected to serve as seed money to encourage other Singaporeans to donate.

Money donated by the SRC is said to go towards relief such as food, water and shelter for displaced residents, The Straits Times reported separately.

In a letter by Minister of Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan appending the Government's donation, the minister extended his "deepest condolences" to the people in Tonga affected by this disaster.

Dr Balakrishnan said: " I am saddened by the loss of lives and the devastation caused by the volcanic eruption and tsunami in Tonga.

"I extend my deepest condolences to the families of the victims and the people of Tonga who have been affected by this unprecedented disaster."

With regard to the money the Singapore Government would be donating to Tonga to assist with relief efforts, the minister said: "Singapore stands in solidarity with Tonga during this difficult time.

"I am confident that the people of Tonga will overcome this disaster with strength and fortitude."

Singaporeans keen on contributing to relief efforts can do so here.

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