Tongan PM and EU Commissioner signed €1 mio grant for electricity networks in cyclone-affected Ha’apai

EU Ambassador Andrew Jacobs was in Tonga (from 19-23 of January, 2015) to meet the Lord Prime Minister, Hon. Akilisi Pohiva and the newly-elected Tonga government, reinforce relationships with development partners and sign-off on the latest European Union grants to support development projects in Tonga.

More than 1,000 households and 30 commercial and government offices on Ha‘apai in the Kingdom of Tonga, will benefit from more efficient energy networks thanks to a TOP 2.3 million (€1 million) grant from the European Union. The funds will be released to the Government of Tonga as part of cyclone rehabilitation efforts. The island of Ha’apai sustained serious damage and significant power losses following Cyclone Ian in early 2014 when its energy grid was badly affected after 90 percent of the power lines on the island were damaged.

“The European Union is glad to demonstrate its solidarity with the people of Tonga who have been affected by the cyclone on Ha’apai. Our dedicated support to the energy sector complements other initiatives on the island and is critical for the well-being of the entire population. We are proud to be partnering with the Government to promote renewable energy systems, enhance energy efficiency and further enhance the lives of people in the Kingdom,” said EU Ambassador for the Pacific, Andrew Jacobs.

He made the comments during the grant signing ceremony in Nuku’alofa today with the Lord Prime Minister, Hon. Akilisi Pohiva.

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency are critical sectors for Tonga, a country that spends millions in imports of petroleum products. The supply of reliable and clean energy becomes even more important in a cyclone-prone country like Tonga. The support extended to Ha ‘apai will not only help reduce the cost of providing electricity to the population but will also ensure that energy systems are made more resilient to extreme weather events.

“2015 is the European Year of Development and we are stepping up our efforts to capture and document real, meaningful impacts of the EU’s work on the ground. Our efforts to support Ha ‘apai in these difficult circumstances are, I believe, an excellent example of real results and close collaboration,” Ambassador Jacobs said.

Prime Minister’s Office
31 January 2015

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