The Singapore government will contribute US$50,000 (S$67,227) through the Singapore Red Cross (SRC) to Tonga in its relief and recovery efforts, Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan said in a letter to Tonga's Foreign Minister on Jan. 25.
According to a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Jan. 26, the contribution will supplement SRC's pledge of S$50,000 to the Tongan Red Cross.
The contribution will also serve as seed money for the public fundraising appeal by the SRC.
Singapore stands in solidarity with the people of Tonga: Vivian Balakrishnan
Vivian wrote a letter to Tonga's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Fekitamoeloa Katoa 'Utoikamanu, to express his condolences on the volcanic eruption and tsunami that struck Tonga on Jan 15.
You may read the letter here:
Dear Minister ‘Utoikamanu,
I am saddened by the loss of lives and devastation caused by the volcanic eruption and tsunami in Tonga. I extend my deepest condolences to the families of the victims and the people of Tonga who have been affected by this unprecedented disaster.
The Singapore Government will contribute US$50,000 through the Singapore Red Cross to support Tonga in its relief and recovery efforts. Singapore stands in solidarity with Tonga during this difficult time. I am confident that the people of Tonga will overcome this disaster with strength and fortitude.
SRC launched a public fundraising appeal
On Jan. 18, SRC said that they are launching a public fundraising appeal in response to the massive volcanic eruption and resultant tsunami that struck Tonga.
According to the SRC, the assistance will go towards relief, including food, water, hygiene and shelter.
SRC Chief Executive Officer Benjamin Williams said that the extent of the damage is not known yet, but "it is likely that the communities will be in need of access to food and safe drinking water".
"Shelter is also a concern particularly for communities residing near the coastline," he added.
For more information on the public appeal by the SRC, you may visit their website here.
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Top images via Vivian Balakrishnan/Facebook and Singapore Red Cross website