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RAF to take 20 tonnes of supplies to Cyclone Idai survivors | World News



An RAF aircraft is to deliver 20 tonnes of UK aid supplies to countries devastated by Cyclone Idai.

The A400M Atlas aircraft will help provide critical aid to the survivors in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

The government of Mozambique has declared a national emergency after the cyclone, and the aid with help meet immediate needs on the ground.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “The UK stands united with those affected by the devastation of Cyclone Idai at this incredibly difficult time. Our partners across the globe can count on our Armed Forces to lend a helping hand in times of need, which is why are sending an RAF aircraft to assist with the aid relief.”

Red Cross workers from Mozambique and European countries assisted those displaced.
Red Cross workers from Mozambique and European countries assisted those displaced

More than 1,000 people are thought to be dead in Mozambique alone after the cyclone and torrential rains. The UN estimates that more than 350,000 people are still at risk due to rising water levels in urban and rural areas.

It’s estimated 1.8m have been affected by the cyclone.

There are 37,500 people in need of shelter and reports indicate about 17,400 homes have been completely destroyed in the disaster.

RAF pilots will be able to bring aid to areas which have been cut off from land access after being partly submerged by floodwaters.

Cyclone survivors left to help each other

The aid supplies are believed to include solar lanterns, water purifiers and shelter kits.

UNICEF’s executive director Henrietta Fore said it is a “race against time to help and protect children”.

She tweeted: “We’re assisting those sheltering in schools, setting up emergency medical tents, helping reunite separated families, and looking after orphaned children. Things will get worse before it gets better.”

Survivors are desperate for aid after the devastating cyclone
Survivors are desperate for aid after the devastating cyclone

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 due to fly into Mozambique contains 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.”

A Department for International Development flight with 7,500 emergency shelter kits and family tents arrived in Maputo in Mozambique on Wednesday. Another flight will leave Doncaster today with forklift trucks and cargo handling equipment, so that supplies can be unloaded from planes quicker, and get to survivors.

The UK’s total support for Cyclone Idai disaster stands at £22m, including £4m of aid match money for the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal.

The Queen and the Prince of Wales made personal donations, as Britons raised £8m in the first 24 hours of the DEC appeal.

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