£5m rescue and relief aid boost for Nepal earthquake effort

The UK’s rescue and relief efforts in Nepal will be boosted with trauma medics, heavy lifting equipment to move aid supplies at Kathmandu airport, and humanitarian experts to help coordinate the international response, International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced today.

This additional support brings to £15 million the total UK response to the Nepal earthquake. Today’s additional £5 million package includes:

  • a 30-strong Medical Team carrying eight tonnes of equipment including medical supplies and bandages, a generator and tents. They are funded by the Department for International Development and managed by Save the Children in partnership with the UK Med and Handicap International
  • airfield handling equipment including two forklift trucks. This will facilitate the swift movement of aid supplies off aircraft and help to ease congestion at Kathmandu airport
  • agreement to fund humanitarian secondees to the World Food Programme, Unicef and UNFPA. These are experts in water, health and sanitation and will ensure support for the most vulnerable people affected by this disaster

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:

The UK is playing a leading role in response to the Nepal earthquake.

We are boosting the British humanitarian effort by deploying more medics to treat the injured and delivering supplies that will help get aid through, including heavy lifting equipment to ensure supplies at Kathmandu airport can reach those in need.

In addition to the £5 million announced today, the UK has already pledged £10 million to the relief operation which 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
  • up to £5 million to match public donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s earthquake appeal

The UK is also providing expert support and assistance on the ground:

  • The Department for International Development has deployed a team of more than 60 search and rescue responders and medical experts as part of a cross-government capacity surge to support the relief effort in Nepal.
  • A RAF C-17 flight is delivering vital UK aid stocks to Nepal, including more than 1,100 shelter kits and over 1,700 solar lanterns, along with a team of Gurkha engineers.
  • British Embassy staff are on the ground and have provided practical help to over 250 British nationals.
  • Additional Foreign Office staff have been 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.

The UK will support the UN Flash Appeal to mobilise donors and raise funds for the Nepal earthquake response, due to launch on 29 April.

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