The Kingdom of Tonga is a remote, low-lying archipelago in the South Pacific. Tonga has a highly vulnerable small island economy and is susceptible to natural disasters.
Its isolation and small, scattered population create economic difficulties including high transport costs and limited markets. Unemployment in rural areas is alarmingly high and wealth remains unevenly distributed. There are very few salaried employment opportunities for young people and there is a high level of outward migration. Remittances from workers in New Zealand, Australia, and the United States make up 30 per cent of the GDP, but as the global recession has taken its toll, less money is coming into the country.
Tonga is a constitutional monarchy undergoing political reforms. The country is slowly inching towards full democracy and addressing issues of representation, accountability and transparency.
Oxfam in Tonga
Oxfam works with local partner organisation Tonga National Youth Congress (TNYC). Established in 1991, TNYC is a Tongan civil society organisation that works with youth aged 14-35 to encourage and empower their talents and creativity.
Livelihoods: Oxfam is supporting TNYC to establish organic vanilla growing as a viable income opportunity for farmers through organic certification. Oxfam also provides TNYC with equipment and expertise to help producers turn the abundant coconut crop into a high-end export product.