The Royal Canadian Air Force are helping to deliver humanitarian aid from the UK Department for International Development (DfID) to the Caribbean.
The Canadian efforts are focused on Grand Turk, part of the Turks & Caicos Islands.
Canada has contributed two Hercules and one CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft to the operation, supporting a UK Royal Air Force Air Mobility fleet deployed with 38 Expeditionary Air Wing.
Royal Marines Commandos, British soldiers and personnel from the Royal Bermuda Defence Force helped offload more than five tonnes of aid, as Turks & Caicos prepared for Hurricane Maria.
The Canadian Armed Forces are supporting DfID as part of a 1,300-strong military and civilian task force in the Caribbean, following the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
FCO, DFID and military teams are working closely with the Governors in the Overseas Territories to ensure we are doing all we can to support the Governments of the islands affected.
Ministers discussed the preparations that have been put in place, the following is a press release:
- Over 1300 military troops are staying put in the region – either on the islands already affected or in locations from where they will be able to readily deploy once Maria has passed.
- An additional 42 strong military resilience team has been deployed forward to British Virgin Islands prior to Hurricane Maria ready to support additional needs there.
- A military reconnaissance team has been put on standby to go to Montserrat to assess need if it is hit by Hurricane Maria.
- DFID has established logistics hubs in the Dominican Republic, Barbados and Antigua & Barbuda to ensure swift supply of relief items if required and is procuring additional supplies from Miami and Panama.
- HMs Ocean, which is due to arrive in the region at the end of the week, with 60 tonnes of DFID supplies on board will be deployed according to need once Hurricane Maria has passed.
- On the basis of the latest weather forecast, we are advising against all but essential travel to Montserrat and Anguilla and against all travel to the British Virgin Islands.
- All those in the region are urged to follow the advice of the local authorities.
To date, the UK government has allocated £57 million to the immediate response effort and agreed to match up to £3 million of public donations to the Red Cross appeal.