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Caribbean: Hurricanes and Tornadoes

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 19th September 2017.

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Photo of Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Conservative, The Cotswolds

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what (a) short-term emergency and (b) medium-term reconstruction aid his Department has provided to people affected by Hurricane Irma.

Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has been at the forefront of Her Majesty's Government's relief efforts. As of 1100 hrs on 19 September 2017, the MOD had 1,293 personnel in the region. They have provided aid, security assistance, engineering support and support to the civilian government to some of the worst hit areas.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) MOUNTS BAY was deliberately pre-positioned for the hurricane season and provided assistance as soon as it was safe to do so. She was the right ship, positioned in the right place at the right time. More than 40 metric tonnes of aid has now arrived and is being distributed across the region - including 2,608 shelter kits, which can provide shelter for over 13,000 people, and 2,304 solar lanterns, which can provide essential light and power for over 11,000 people.

HMS OCEAN has been redeployed from the Mediterranean to assist in long-term reconstruction efforts - she carries nine helicopters and was supplemented with further aid and reconstruction supplies when she transited through Gibraltar.

The situation is continually evolving and we remain flexible - ensuring the most urgent tasks are prioritised. We are working closely across Government, and are aligning efforts with international partners to ensure coordination in the overall humanitarian and reconstruction effort.

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