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T$3million for MORDI communities aid

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New Zealand gives TOP$3 m to remote Tongan communities

20 July 2011

The New Zealand Aid Programme today signed a grant funding agreement, with Mainstreaming of Rural Development Innovation (MORDI) Tonga Trust to provide TOP$3 million (NZ$ 2.25 m) to assist MORDI with their community development programmes in Tonga's outer islands.

MORDI Tonga Trust has worked with 22 outer island communities since 2007, promoting sustainable community development. Another 7 communities have recently been added to the programme. With this new funding arrangement, MORDI hopes to each reach out to all isolated communities in the Kingdom and help them in the same way that the piloted 22 communities have been helped.

At this time of economic hardship, isolated communities need an extra hand in preparing them to put their best foot forward in the race towards a growing global economy. Community Development is an essential stepping stone in the lives of isolated communities especially to women and youth whose lives shape the very communities that are witnessing a drain of their younger generation into the lure of urban city lights in the hope of a better tomorrow.

"New Zealand is very pleased to be helping some of Tonga's most isolated communities," New Zealand High Commissioner Dr Jonathan Austin said.

"We have had a long history of helping Tongan communities to help themselves. Through MORDI we are continuing this support."

"The new Government has said that community development is a priority for them. This New Zealand support is squarely in line with that priority."

Under the MORDI programme , MORDI helps selected communities work out their own development plans. MORDI then helps them to implement these plans, helping them with training and funding for projects. Communities have to meet some of the cost as their contribution.

The New Zealand support comes as MORDI, New Zealand, the Government of Tonga and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) are looking at scaling up MORDI Tonga's work. Scaling up means expanding, relocating, adapting and sustaining successful of MORDI's in geographical space and over time to reach a greater number of rural and vulnerable communities in the Kingdom.

New Zealand and IFAD have successfully co-funded MORDI Tonga Trust from 2009 and will continue to support successful community development that brings about self sufficiency to thousands of people in isolated communities who otherwise would not be included in the delivery of community development services.

ENDS

Issued by the: New Zealand Aid Programme, New Zealand High Commission, Nuku'alofa, 2011. (Photos courtesy: MORDI Tonga Trust)

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 09 August 2011 11:41 )  

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