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Coronavirus: Tonga gov’t unveils first three-month TOP$60m stimulus package

Tonga government has unveiled a TOP$60 million (US$25 million) response budget to address the coronavirus threat until June.

Tonga has no confirmed case of Covid-19 disease.

Prime Minister Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa announced the stimulus package during a livestream press conference in Nuku’alofa.

Tu’i’onetoa said the funding has been allocated under nine clusters including health, water and sanitation, economic and social recovery, food security and livelihood, education, safety and protection, essential services, shelter, telecommunication and logistic and coordination.

Finance Minister Tevita Lavemaau said during the conference the Budget would bring relief to families, workers and businesses.

Lavemaau said if the coronavirus last longer than expected the government will announce a $200 million(US$85 million) budget as part of its long term plan to fight againt the Covid-19 disease.

The government’s efforts to keep the coronavirus away from its shores had been based on what Prime Minister Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa has described as the immediate response phase.

He urged the public to stay focused on the idea that Tonga was in a stage of fighting to stop the Covid-19 from coming into the country.

He said the next phase was recovery, but that would come later if the coronavirus affected Tonga or the war against it was over.


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