A RAF C-17 aircraft has arrived in Nepal, carrying a team of Gurkha engineers as well as crucial aid supplies including shelter kits and solar lanterns, International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced today.
The aircraft carried 18 tonnes of supplies including:
more than 1,100 shelter kits, including plastic sheeting, rope and rope tensioners to keep families sheltered from increasingly wet weather in Nepal;
more than 1,800 solar lanterns to provide lighting and a means of charging phones, radios and torches;
18 Gurkha engineers consisting of 12 from 2nd Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles (based at Folkestone) and six from the Queen’s Gurkha Engineers (based at Maidstone) who will assess engineering needs and operate water purification equipment following damage to water supplies in the country; and
a Land Rover for teams helping with relief efforts.
The aircraft follows the arrival in Kathmandu of more than 60 UK International Search and Rescue (UK ISAR) responders and four specialist rescue dogs, as well as teams of British medics and humanitarian experts.
Justine Greening said:
These shelter kits and solar lanterns will help protect thousands of families and vulnerable people who have lost their homes and are faced with increasingly heavy rains and worsening conditions in Nepal.
The Gurkha engineers that have arrived on the RAF C-17 will add vital capacity to the international relief effort.
Conditions remain extremely difficult, but the UK will continue to do everything it can to help support Nepal and its people in their hour of need.
The UK has pledged £15 million towards relief efforts in Nepal so far. This includes:
- £3 million released under the Rapid Response Facility (RRF) so partners can address immediate needs on the ground;
- £2 million for the British Red Cross;
- £5 million to match public donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s earthquake appeal; and
- a £5 million package to provide a further team of trauma medics, humanitarian experts and airfield handling equipment to ease congestion at Kathmandu airport.
In addition, the UK has:
- British Embassy staff on the ground providing practical help to over 250 British nationals; and
- additional Foreign and Commonwealth Office staff deployed to provide further assistance to those British nationals caught up in the disaster.
Notes to editors
- The UK Government is providing consular assistance to British nationals who have been caught in this disaster. We are urgently looking into ways we can assist further including help to get British Nationals out of Nepal. The situation on the ground is highly challenging. Basic telephone communication and infrastructure are severely disrupted.
- Anyone who is caught up in this incident or worried about a loved one should call the FCO on +44 (0) 207 008 0000.
- For more information on the UK response, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/nepal-earthquake-uk-aid-response