Tonga. According to Countryaah.com, Tonga population in 2020 is estimated at 105,706. Tonga was hit in January by tropical cyclone Ian, classified as Category 5 on the Saffir – Simpson scale, which means it reached a wind speed of over 69 m/s. The worst hit was the islands of the Ha’apai group in central Tonga where the cyclone caused great havoc, made thousands of homeless and cost a person life. Almost all crops were destroyed and the population became dependent on emergency food shipments.
In April, it was confirmed that Tonga suffered from an outbreak of the chikungunya disease. In total, over 10,000 people were infected by the virus, which is spread by mosquitoes. Following measures such as destroying the possibility of the mosquito-borne mosquitoes to multiply, the WHO (World Health Organization) in September found that the number of cases began to decline.
In August, Tonga was visited by a Chinese hospital ship, where over 4,000 people received free care for one week.
The population of the islands of the Ha’apai group was hit in September by water shortages due to an extreme dry period. The situation was made worse by the fact that many still lived in tents after the cyclone that hit the islands in January.
In October, the government decided to stop harvesting sea cucumbers for the next five years. The measure is considered necessary for the stock of sea cucumbers, an animal considered to be a delicacy in parts of Asia, to have a chance to recover.
The second fully democratic election ever in the country was held in November. Of the 26 members of Parliament, 17 are elected in general elections while nine are elected in the nobility. Nine of the eligible seats went to the Friendship Islands Democratic Party (DPFI), which lost three seats from the last election, while the other eight went to independent candidates. About half the parliament was elected for the first time, but no woman was among the newly elected members. The Prime Minister was named ‘Akilisi Pohiva, who also took care of the post of Foreign Minister.