Press release

Hurricane Irma: statement from Priti Patel

International Development Secretary announces deployment of UK aid experts and that a British naval ship is in the region ready to help.

Hurricane Irma image

Satellite image of Hurricane Irma over the Caribbean. Picture: US Navy/CC/BY

Commenting on the impact of Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean International Development Secretary, Priti Patel, said:

The thoughts of the British people are with all those affected by Hurricane Irma and Britain has already taken swift action to respond.

We have deployed three UK aid humanitarian experts to the region to help coordinate the response, and positioned a British naval ship with 40 Royal Marines, Army Engineers, and vehicles, tents and facilities to purify water on board.

Our staff are on standby, both in the UK and at post, to support any British people affected. We urge British Nationals in the affected area to closely monitor and follow Foreign Office and local travel advice.

Notes to editors

  • Three UK aid humanitarian experts from the UK have been deployed to assist with needs assessments and coordination, in addition to FCO and DFID staff that are already in the region.
  • British naval ship Royal Fleet Auxiliary Mounts Bay is ready to respond, with 40 Royal Marines and Army Engineers on board. The ship carries a range of equipment to support humanitarian responses including vehicles, tents and facilities to purify water.
  • The first tasking for the ship will be to support British Overseas Territories in need.
  • MapAction, a British charity funded by UK aid, have sent a two person Disaster Mapping Team to the Caribbean to support mapping and information management for partners on the ground.
  • UK aid has played a vital role in previous disasters in the region, including Hurricane Ivan, where our support provided the government and population with essential supplies such as food, shelter and drinking water. We stand ready to help again.

General media queries (24 hours)

Published 6 September 2017