RAF to deliver vital aid to cyclone-hit Africa

The RAF is to send one of its aircraft to provide vital aid to the parts of Africa devastated by Cyclone Idai.

Defence secretary Gavin Williamson said yesterday (March 24th) that an A400M Atlas aircraft will fly out as part of an aid programme organised by the Department for International Development (DFID).

It is to deliver up to 20 tonnes of supplies to survivors in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, with the government of Mozambique having declared a national emergency in the wake of the natural disaster.

The cyclone may have left as many as a thousand dead in Mozambique alone, while UN estimates suggest 350,000 people remain at risk from rising water levels. Reports indicate that at least 17,400 homes have been completely destroyed.

Supplies flown out by the A400M Atlas will provide vital relief to those in need of shelter and are expected to include solar lanterns, water purifiers and shelter kits.

RAF pilots will need to use their expertise to navigate through the particularly challenging flying conditions.

Last year, the A400M Atlas successfully delivered 17.5 tonnes of UK aid relief following an earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia.

Mr Williamson commented: "The UK stands united with those affected by the devastation of Cyclone Idai at this incredibly difficult time. 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."

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