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Cluster System in Tonga


The cluster system established in Tonga through Cabinet endorsement in 2015 and with Tropical Cyclone Gita (Feb 2018) came the inaugural activation of the Clusters in the country. The clusters are coordinated through the National Disaster Risk Management Office (NDRMO), led by relevant government ministries with the assistance from international and regional organisations. Currently, there are 11 clusters includes; Coordination, Essential Services, Emergency Shelter and Non-Food Items, Safety and Protection, WASH, Economic and Social Recovery, Education, Reconstruction, Food Security and Livelihoods, Communications and Displacement and Evacuation Center Management. The clusters are recognized at national level with varying strength and capacity.

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The Inter-cluster Coordination Committee has also been established, and is chaired by the CEO of MEIDECC and represented by all the cluster leads. NEMO facilitates the Inter-cluster coordination and is the secretariat for the cluster system. Decisions made by the Inter-Cluster Coordination Committee being presented to the National Disaster Risk Management Committee (NDRMC) for consideration and submitted to Cabinet for final approval. The chart below shows the governance structure and decision making processes of Tonga’s response to disasters through the cluster system


The vision of the respective cluster is that the specific needs of individuals and communities affected by or at risk of being affected by humanitarian crises (whether sudden onset or protracted) are met. Coordinated preparedness, response and recovery action at community, national and global levels result in saved lives, improved livelihoods and increased resilience of households and communities.


The overall objectives of the cluster is to guarantee:

  • A coherent, timely, safe and dignifying assistance is delivered to the affected population;

  • Emergency assistance to the most vulnerable is leveraged to promote early action & response and resilience, therefore properly integrated with long term resilience building;

  • Emergency and recovery interventions are adequately integrated and complementary with other relevant sectors such as Nutrition, WASH and Health; 

  • Emergency interventions (of the sector) are meant to support and strengthen access, availability, utilisation and stability of the sector.

  • Ensure adequate risk reduction and preparedness system, procedures and measures are in place to effectively plan and respond to the disaster risk and manage the response when there is disaster.

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