The Department for International Development has deployed a team of more than 60 search and rescue responders and medical experts as part of a cross-government capacity surge to support the relief effort in Nepal, International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced this evening.
A DFID-chartered flight is due to leave London this evening for Kathmandu. It will be carrying:
seven UK International Search and Rescue crews, four search and rescue dogs, a medical support team and a hazardous materials specialist. They will take with them more than 11 tonnes of kit, including torches, axes, rope, search cameras, stretchers and tents;
trauma medics travelling as part of a DFID-deployed UK Med team;
a five-strong Foreign Office Rapid Deployment Team who will provide further consular assistance for British nationals affected by the disaster; and
experts from leading aid agencies including the British Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières and Map Action, an international disaster mapping charity. They will join the growing international aid effort in Kathmandu and help direct much-needed assistance.
Justine Greening said:
“Our thoughts are with all those affected by this terrible earthquake. The UK is doing everything it can to help Nepal recover and provide assistance to British nationals caught up in the disaster.
“We are deploying highly trained experts in search and rescue and trauma medicine to pull people from the rubble and save lives. These are brave men and women who will be doing crucial, life-saving work on behalf of the UK.”
This deployment is the latest step in the UK’s response to the earthquake in Nepal, which includes:
A £5 million package of UK support, including £3 million released under the Rapid Response Facility (RRF) so partners can address immediate needs on the ground and £2 million for the British Red Cross;
the deployment of eight disaster response specialists from the UK. They are on their way to Nepal to assess the scale of the damage and help the Nepalese authorities direct the humanitarian response; and
consular assistance to British nationals who have been caught up in this disaster and a crisis hotline for those concerned about friends or family.
Notes to editors
The Rapid Response Facility is a network of pre-approved specialist aid organisations and private businesses who can rapidly deliver emergency medical, water and sanitation assistance to affected people. It enables the UK Government to commit to rapid humanitarian funding to these pre-qualified partners. Responding swiftly in humanitarian disasters ensures that more lives are saved and suffering reduced.
The Foreign Office is providing consular assistance to British nationals involved in the earthquake. Anyone who is caught up in this incident or worried about a family member should call the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on +44 (0) 207 008 0000. FCO travel advice is being updated regularly.