Post Cyclone Livelihoods Recovery and Cash-for-Work
In January 2014, Tropical Cyclone Ian, a Category 5 and the most powerful storm ever recorded in Tongan waters - passed directly over the northeast islands of Ha’apai. The Prime Minister declared a state of emergency. The cyclone caused significant damage to homes, infrastructure and vegetation in 18 villages across six islands in Ha’apai: ‘Uiha, Uoleva, Lifuka, Foa, Ha’ano and Mo’unga’one. Over 5,000 people were directly affected and more than 3,500 people were left homeless. The main livelihoods in Ha’apai are weaving, small-scale tourism, fishing and agriculture, and these were severely disrupted.
The UNDP supported Post-Cyclone and Cash-for-Work project provided a temporary source of cash income in exchange for work related to debris clean-up, restoration of livelihoods activities and improving preparedness for future cyclones. The project partnered with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Office of the Governor of Ha’apai.