RAF plane takes off from Doncaster-Sheffield airport carrying aid to victims of Cyclone Idai

An RAF plane has taken off from Doncaster Sheffield airport carrying 20 tonnes of aid for the parts of south-east Africa devastated by Cyclone Idai.

By Dan Hayes
Sunday, 24 March, 2019, 16:34
Department for International Development handout photo of the plane at at Doncaster-Sheffield airport waiting to be loaded with UK aid for Maputo in Mozambique to help those caught up in the devastation caused by Cyclone Idai in south-east Africa. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday March 24, 2019. Across Mozambique it is estimated that 1.8 million people have been affected by the cyclone, which also ravaged parts of Malawi and Zimbabwe. See PA story POLITICS Cyclone. Photo credit should read: DfID/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Across Mozambique it is estimated that 1.8 million people have been affected by the cyclone, which also ravaged parts of Malawi and Zimbabwe.

Aid due to be delivered by an RAF aircraft is expected to include solar lanterns, water purifiers and shelter kits, the Ministry of Defence said.

Department for International Development handout photo of UK aid waiting to be loaded onto a plane at Doncaster-Sheffield airport for Maputo in Mozambique to help those caught up in the devastation caused by Cyclone Idai in south-east Africa. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday March 24, 2019. Across Mozambique it is estimated that 1.8 million people have been affected by the cyclone, which also ravaged parts of Malawi and Zimbabwe. See PA story POLITICS Cyclone. Photo credit should read: DfID/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

The A400M Atlas aircraft will help provide relief for the 37,500 people in need of urgent shelter when it departs for Mozambique early this week, amid reports that at least 17,400 homes have been destroyed by the cyclone and subsequent flooding.

Unicef's executive director Henrietta Fore has 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."

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Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: "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."

Department for International Development handout photo of UK aid waiting to be loaded onto a plane at Doncaster-Sheffield airport for Maputo in Mozambique to help those caught up in the devastation caused by Cyclone Idai in south-east Africa. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday March 24, 2019. Across Mozambique it is estimated that 1.8 million people have been affected by the cyclone, which also ravaged parts of Malawi and Zimbabwe. See PA story POLITICS Cyclone. Photo credit should read: DfID/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

The UK is also sending forklift trucks and other equipment to help quickly unload aid from planes and cut the time it takes to get relief items to those in need, International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt announced on Friday.

The UK's total support for the survivors of Cyclone Idai now stands at £22 million, including £4 million of aid-match money for the Disaster Emergency Committee's appeal.

Eight million pounds was raised in the first 24 hours of the DEC's appeal, including personal donations from the Queen and Prince of Wales.