An RAF aircraft has delivered 20 tonnes of lifesaving UK aid supplies to those affected by the devastating cyclone that struck Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.
The A400M Atlas aircraft and a crew of 10 RAF personnel have delivered vital equipment including water filters, solar lanterns, blankets and shelter kits from the Department for International Development (DFID) for survivors of cyclone Idai in Mozambique.
The Government of Mozambique has declared a national emergency in the aftermath of the cyclone and the UK aid on board the aircraft will help towards providing essential support for the 37,500 people in need of urgent shelter.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “The UK stands united with those affected by the devastation of Cyclone Idai at this incredibly difficult time. The RAF have successfully navigated challenging flying conditions and helped deliver vital aid to assist with the relief effort. Cargo on board included 500 water filters, 1,000 solar lanterns, 3,520 blankets, 600 shelter kits that will be distributed by UN agencies to those who need it most.”
RAF pilots used their world class training and expertise to safely navigate through challenging flying conditions and deliver UK aid to those who need it most. Many villages and landmarks have been submerged by floodwater, stalling all land-based rescue missions and making the delivery of aid by air even more critical. The A400M Atlas previously delivered 17.5 tonnes of UK aid relief to those affected by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Indonesia last year.
RAF Air Mobility Force Commander Air Commodore Dom Stamp said: “Once more the RAF, with our new Atlas A400M aircraft, has proven our ability to deploy globally, to bring vital aid relief quickly and effectively to those who urgently need it. We are proud to support our international partners in times of crisis and stand ready to do so in the future”
A DFID flight containing over 7,500 emergency shelter kits and family tents arrived in Maputo, Mozambique’s capital on Wednesday last week. Another UK aid flight has delivered forklift trucks and other cargo handling equipment. This will speed up the time it takes to unload aid from planes, ensuring it reaches the survivors of the cyclone more quickly. DFID experts are already on the ground coordinating the response.
International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: “The UK government was one of the first to respond to this crisis and is currently the biggest global donor to the response. It is doing all it can to provide life-saving help to the hundreds of thousands of people left homeless or without food by this devastating cyclone.”
“The UK aid on board this RAF plane contained essential supplies, which will made a real and immediate difference to the survivors. This is undoubtedly one of the biggest natural disasters to hit the region, and our thoughts remain firmly with the victims.”