Press release

UK emergency supplies for cyclone victims arrive in Vanuatu

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Britain is responding rapidly to help people affected by cyclone Pam.

UK aid arrives in Vanuatu. Picture: Sgt Neil Bryden/Royal Air Force
UK aid arrives in Vanuatu. Picture: Sgt Neil Bryden/Royal Air Force

A Royal Air Force C-17 plane carrying shelter and lighting from the UK has landed in Vanuatu, International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced today.

The plane arrived in Vanuatu at 0300 GMT on Thursday 19 March, carrying 1,640 shelter kits which can house families of five people and more than 1,900 solar lanterns with inbuilt mobile phone chargers.

These supplies will help protect some of the most vulnerable people affected by the cyclone, especially women and children.

Also on board were two humanitarian experts from the Department for International Development who are now based in country to ensure that emergency supplies reach people in the region and assess what further assistance Britain can provide.

Justine Greening said:

Britain’s rapid response to humanitarian disasters on the other side of the world is something to be incredibly proud of.

Cyclone Pam’s trail of destruction has left thousands of people without their home and access to power. Our emergency shelter kits and solar lanterns, which have arrived thanks to the swift and invaluable support of the Royal Air Force, will help meet people’s basic needs.

Britain stands ready to assist further to ensure supplies get to those in need and will continue to support the Government of Vanuatu as part of the wider Commonwealth effort.

Notes to editors

  1. On Saturday 14 March, following a request from the Government of Vanuatu, Britain made up to £1 million available to UN organisations and international aid agencies in the region. The UK will also send an additional £1 million through DFID’s Rapid Response Facility.

  2. The Rapid Response Facility (RRF) was established in March 2012. It 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. Further information is available here: https://www.gov.uk/humanitarian-response-funding

  3. On Monday 16 March the Royal Air Force C-17 transport plane departed for Australia to join the international relief effort.

  4. On Tuesday 17 March Britain confirmed the allocation of £500,000 from its £2 million emergency support to the International Federation of the Red Cross Emergency Appeal.

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Published 19 March 2015