DFID Emergency Aid

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The Department for International Development (DFID) leads the UK's relief effort following a humanitarian emergency or natural disaster in a developing country. DFID has three warehouses: in the UK, Dubai and Miami, where we store around 40,000 blankets, 3-4,000 winterised tents, 20,000 collapsible water jerry cans and 40,000 tarpaulins. These are the items that are usually most needed immediately following a disaster.

We also have vehicles, communications and office equipment ready for immediate deployment should they be needed anywhere in the world.

At any time of the day or night the Duty Officer is alerted to emergencies either automatically, or through the DFID office or Embassy in the affected country. Depending upon the location and scale of the emergency, a Response Team may be mobilised and the DFID Operations room opened. In most cases, and always for large scale emergencies such as the Tsunami and the Pakistan earthquake, we send an assessment team to the area to get first-hand information about the emergency e.g. the number of people affected, the scale of the damage, humanitarian relief needs, and ensure we send the right assistance. Where appropriate, as in the Pakistan earthquake, we also aim to have identified Urban Search and Rescue Teams on the way to be able to start working in the disaster region within 18 to 24 hours.

Shows: At Kemble Air Base, Gloucestershire, England - DFID's UK warehouse - stockpiles of emergency supplies and vehicles being checked and made ready for airlift.

For further information about DFID's work, visit the DFID website at www.dfid.gov.uk

For all media enquiries, please call DFID Press Office +44 207 023 0600 (24 hour number).