ADB signs 10 mln USD grant to boost Tonga's recovery from disasters

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 12, 2024
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MANILA, April 12 (Xinhua) -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Tonga signed a 10-million-U.S.-dollar policy-based grant agreement on Friday to help expedite economic recovery from disasters caused by natural hazards and health emergencies.

According to the ADB, the program will help the government implement reforms to mitigate fragilities intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 volcanic eruption at Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai, and subsequent tsunami waves.

Tonga is among the most disaster-prone countries globally. Large-scale disasters such as tropical cyclones, as well as the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano in 2022, affected up to 80 percent of the population and badly hit the fragile economy of Tonga.

The Public Financial Management Bill supported under the program includes putting a numerical limit on new debt and codifying the need for debt management and fiscal strategies.

The program will ensure support for the continued implementation of the Electronic Sales Register System, which will transmit point-of-sale transaction data to improve the assessment of tax liability and risk, while partially automating value-added tax returns.

Through the program, the ADB also promises to further support the country's disaster recovery by creating a network of accredited, vetted suppliers and transporters for streamlined exports, significant for perishable exports and supporting recovery following disasters. Enditem

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