[Anglican Taonga (Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia)] Since the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano erupted in mid-January, people in Tonga have been hit hard by the impact of ashfall and the resulting tsunamis, which have devastated communities’ land, homes and livelihoods.
Now the arrival of humanitarian aid has brought COVID-19 to Tonga, adding an extra burden to people undertaking disaster recovery and caring for community health amid lockdowns and other COVID-19 restrictions. In early January 2022, Tonga had zero COVID-19 cases, but by Feb. 14, Matangitonga News reported 139 active cases, with the omicron variant among them.
Anglican Mission’s Diocese of Polynesia partners in Fiji and Tonga have already distributed food and shelter supplies and more arrived this week, including water, dry food, children’s packs and cleaning equipment. In addition, Anglican Missions is working with shipments heading to Tonga through the Auckland-based Episcopal Unit of the Diocese of Polynesia in Aotearoa New Zealand.