The current framework for development collaboration with Tonga is the 2004 Sub-regional Strategic Opportunities Paper for the Pacific Islands.  Collaboration with Tonga under the 2004 IFAD subregional strategy has introduced development innovations in selected poor rural communities throughout the Pacific Island countries. These include parts of Melanesian countries and the remote outer islands of Polynesian and Micronesian countries, all of which show increasing hardship for rural poor people. The development of agriculture and rural sectors in the outer islands has become a cornerstone of IFAD's strategy in Pacific Islands Countries.  The IFAD Tonga country programme has distinguished itself through excellent work in community empowerment in the outer islands.

IFAD's most recent multi-sectoral analyses of the situation in Tonga can be found in the IFAD Rural Sector Performance Assessment (RSP): Investing in the Rural Poor – Tonga.

Ongoing Projects

The project is based on the premise that enhanced community capacity for sustainable planning and action, linked to enhanced business capability for sustainable financing and investment, will contribute to improved sustainable livelihoods of vulnerable households in rural areas.

History of IFAD's work in Tonga

IFAD’s work to address issues of rural poverty directly impacts hunger and poverty, and also improves local capacity by increasing coping skills.  Since 1983 IFAD has supported 4 projects in Tonga with loans for a total of US$9.3 million. Tonga has also been included in a regional grant programme for the Pacific Island Countries.

IFAD's first projects in Tonga were credit schemes operating through the Tonga Development Bank.  Specifically, these involved the establishment of credit unions in Tonga, and the strengthening of the Tonga Development Bank. The Outer Islands Credit Project marked a shift in focus to the more disadvantaged outer islands of the country. IFAD supports the Government of Tonga in its efforts to lessen the disparities between the outer and the main islands by developing agricultural and marine resources. All three closed projects have demonstrated that micro-credit can significantly improve the living standards of the rural poor.

Following the successes of local capacity-building in the MORDI project, the new Tonga Rural Innovation Project became effective in July 2012.

Completed Projects

Country-level investment projects financed by IFAD in Kingdom of Tonga:

  • Outer Islands Credit Project  [more]

  • Rural Credit Project  [more]

  • Agricultural Credit Project  [more]

Regional IFAD-financed programmes for several countries, including Tonga:

  • Food Security and Sustainable Livelihoods Programme (FSSLP/FAO-1180)  [more]

  • FoodSTART: Root and Tuber Crops Research & Development Programme for Food Security in the Asia and the Pacific Region (CIP-1239)  [more]

  • KS-Asia: Programme for Development of Knowledge Sharing Skills (FAO-1179)  [more]

  • Mainstreaming Rural Development Innovations Programme in the Pacific (MORDI)  [more]

  • Programme for Accelerating the Financial Empowerment of Poor Rural Communities in Asia and the Pacific through Rural Finance Innovations (APRACA/FINPOWER)  [more]

  • Programme for Knowledge Networking for Rural Development in Asia/Pacific Region (ENRAP3)  [more]

Results & Impacts

The total cost of the projects has been US$21.2 million, including approved IFAD loans of US$9.3 million.  These projects have been directly benefiting 10,860 households.  [more]

An indication of success has been demonstrated with the bilateral agreement between IFAD and MORDI Tonga Trust. MORDI Tonga will be receiving funds to run MORDI processes in Tonga for the next 4 years to upscale development work nationally using the MORDI model. There is a solid hope that the presence and influence of MORDI work will continue in future ensuring sustainability of the processes that had started 6 years ago.  [more]


The Tonga Rural Innovation Project aligns with priorities as laid out in two key strategy and policy documents of the Government of Tonga: the Ministry of Food, Forests and Fisheries Sector Plan, and the Tonga Strategic Development Framework.  [more]

The MORDI Tonga Trust (TT) is appointed by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning on a sole source basis to implement the Project.  [more]


Chase Palmeri  [more]
Country Programme Manager
Via Paolo di Dono, 44
Rome, Italy
Work: +39 0654592449
Fax: +39 0654593449

Mr. Sukiusa Tubuna  [more]
Sub-Regional Coordinator
Cell: +679 9297863

Laura Puletti
Programme Assistant
Via Paolo di Dono, 44
Rome, Italy
Work: +39 0654592159

Video Gallery

Image Gallery

Discussions Discussions

This site does not yet have any Discussions