United Nations Ready To Assist Tsunami-Hit Tonga

A senior UN official based in the Fijian capital city of Suva said the UN is on alert with teams and emergency supplies to help Tonga, while UN officials deployed in the tsunami-hit island nation are working to support coordination and response activities in the country.

Jonathan Veitch, acting UN resident and humanitarian coordinator for Fiji, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu, told Xinhua news agency that the UN will address any requests for specialised assistance with the Tongan government. "The Tongan government has sought satellite bandwidth from the United Nations' International Telecommunication Union (ITU), as well as phone capabilities from New Zealand and other donor partners," he added.

He went on to say that Australia and New Zealand are providing logistical help. Australia is assisting with ash removal, water supply, and communication, while New Zealand is assisting with UN communications and logistical assistance throughout the crisis.

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