A Royal Air Force C-17 aircraft has been called in by the Department for International Development (DFID) to assist the flood relief effort in Pakistan.
The C-17, based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, is the RAF’s largest transport aircraft, capable of carrying 73,800kg of freight and 138 personnel over ranges up to 8,300km.
It is already operating every day in the region providing vital logistic support; ferrying supplies and personnel in aid of UK operations in Afghanistan.
The C-17 has taken a load of 500 tents from a DFID store in Dubai to Islamabad, where they will be driven to the Peshawar region of Pakistan to help provide shelter for at least 2,500 people driven out of their homes by the flooding.
The tents can be erected within half-an-hour and are designed to withstand extremely heavy rainfall and cold conditions.
Officer Commanding 99 Squadron, Wing Commander Simon Edwards, said:
I am pleased that the 99 Squadron has been able to help DFID in this important task and that we are able to use the C-17’s world-class lift capability in support of their vital humanitarian mission to Pakistan.
DFID’s Head of the Pakistan Office, George Turkington, who met the plane as it landed at Chaklala Airbase in Islamabad, said:
These are the worse floods Pakistan has ever seen. These 500 tents, along with the 2,000 we’ve already provided, will give urgently needed shelter to thousands of people whose homes have been washed away by the monsoon floods.
Britain is also supporting the Government of Pakistan’s work to provide safe drinking water, hygiene kits, toilets, sewage clearance and waste removal, with £5m to UNICEF, another £5m for the Pakistan Emergency Response Fund, and bringing forward a £10m project to provide new bridges to replace some of those washed away by the floods.