Disaster response

ILO provides Community-Based Emergency Employment (CBEE) in Tonga

The ILO Office for Pacific Island Countries and the Ministry of Commerce, Consumer, Trade, Innovation, and Labour (MCCTIL) has launched a community based emergency employment programme in Tonga.

News | Nukualofa, Tonga | 21 March 2018
Assessing damage to farm land
Nuku'alofa (ILO NEWS) – As the Humanitarian phase winds down in Tonga post Cyclone Gita, the ILO is working through the relevant locally led clusters, the UN system and in partnership with the Ministry of Commerce, Consumer, Trade, Innovation, and Labour (MCCTIL) on Early Recovery.

This work includes the implementation of a Community Based Emergency Employment (CBEE) Programme to ensure that employment, including informal sector employment and income losses are captured in the World Bank led Rapid Assessment.

The ILO through its local Government counterpart – Ministry of Commerce, Consumer, Trade, Innovation, and Labour (MCCTIL) and the UN Joint Presence Office, has handed over farming tools to the village of Utulau in the district of Nukunuku, Tongatapu, Kingdom of Tonga.

The tools and an emergency employment package for 10 days are for households in Utulau village, and will help them clear debris, plough their lands and make them cultivatable and ready for planting. The CBEE programme contributes one important step in the road to recovery for the community after the devastation of Cyclone Gita that struck Tonga on the 12th February 2018.

Handing over of farming tools

Mr. Donglin Li, Director ILO Office for Pacific Island Countries said “the ILO CBEE aims at providing quick employment opportunities for those cyclone affected people and bring them back on their feet.”

By replanting at least one acre plot each of tapioca (manioke) and taro (talo) tops with expert advice from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (MAFF), farmers will be ready to sell by the roadside or export overseas in about 5-6 months’ time.

In addition, the CBEE farmers are encouraged to contribute voluntarily to the Tonga National Retirement Benefit Fund (TNRBF) as a social security net and/or for their retirement.