The UK government on Saturday, pledges to double any public donations to the British Red Cross appeal for victims of Hurricane Irma.
For every £1 given towards the relief effort in the Caribbean, another £1 will be added to the Department for International Development’s Aid Match scheme, up to £3 million.
Donations will support people through the region, including in the badly hit British Overseas Territories of Anguilla, British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos.
Secretary of State for International Development Priti Patel says, “Today we are announcing we will double any public donations which are made to the British Red Cross appeal through DFID’s Aid Match scheme. The overwhelming generosity of the UK public in times of crisis is one of the things that makes Britain truly great. This will help get water, food, shelter, and power to those left devastated by Hurricane Irma.:
This donation is on top of the £32million already pledged by the UK government.
Mike Adamson, chief executive, British Red Cross says, “We would like to thank DFID for supporting our Hurricane Irma appeal, raising urgent funds for those affected by this devastating disaster. The most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic has left major destruction in its wake. Red Cross teams are on the ground now supporting people in shelters, providing first aid and doing whatever they can to help.”
Ms Patel’s pledge came after she visited her department’s disaster response center in Kemble, Gloucestershire on Friday.
While there, she saw vital aid begin its journey to the disaster zone, including 10,000 UK aid buckets and 5,000 UK solar lanterns. This aid is will reach those in need in the next few days by the quickest and most effective route possible.
Ms Patel also pledged on Friday to double the number of humanitarian experts in the region from four to eight, who are now working in the field across several islands to assess need. Further advisors are expected to arrive in the coming days.
In addition to delivering emergency humanitarian relief, DFID is working with agencies across the Caribbean to plan how to rebuild and reconstruct areas damaged by the hurricane.