British Navy to support Haiti recovery effort

London, Aug. 19, (PA Media-dpa/GNA) - Britain's Royal Navy will be dispatched to Haiti to assist with earthquake recovery efforts.

The Government said 1 million pounds of support would be sent to the country, while Wave-class, fast fleet tanker RFA Wave Knight will also support the international humanitarian response.

More than 1,900 people were killed by Saturday's 7.2 magnitude quake, with Haiti's Civil Protection Agency on Tuesday raising the number of those injured to 9,900.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: "Communities in the Caribbean can rely on the Royal Navy to come to their aid when disaster strikes.

"The Royal Navy has a proud history of supporting British Overseas Territories and other partners in the Caribbean during hurricane season. I'm proud that the UK can now play a part in the US effort to respond to the devastating earthquake in Haiti."

The tanker will serve as a landing pad for US military helicopters responding to the crisis.

And the Government said experts from the UK's Emergency Medical Team (UK EMT) will be deployed Haiti this week to assess requirements for medical assistance and identify additional support.

Minister for the Caribbean, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, said: "It is at times like this that the international community must come together to help those in crisis. The UK's support will add to Haiti's efforts to provide emergency disaster relief to those most vulnerable, including access to vital healthcare and sanitation."

The new funding is in addition to UK contributions to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, the Red Cross Disaster Relief Emergency Fund and the Start Fund, which have allocated funding of 5.8 million pounds, 600,000 pounds, and 250,000 pounds respectively.

A UK humanitarian expert will also arrive in Haiti as part of a UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) mission, to help assess damage and humanitarian needs.