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Haiti: Earthquakes

Volume 506: debated on Wednesday 3 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what assets his Department has deployed to Haiti since the earthquake on 12 January 2010; (319431)

(2) how many of his Department's (a) military and (b) civilian personnel have been deployed to Haiti since the earthquake on 12 January 2010;

(3) how much his Department has spent on relief and deployments to Haiti since the earthquake on 12 January 2010.

[holding answer 1 March 2010]: The Department for International Development (DfID) is leading the UK response to the Haitian earthquake: at DfID’s request the Ministry of Defence (MOD) sent a Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) ship, RFA Largs Bay, to carry vital relief supplies to Haiti. RFA Largs Bay arrived in Haiti on 18 February, delivered its cargo of aid and is now engaged in further taskings in support of the World Food programme under the direction of DfID. This has been a high priority task and I trust it has been seen as a significant contribution by the Government to the international aid effort.

The MOD deployed an Operational Liaison and Reconnaissance Team to Haiti via 2 C-130 Hercules flights to advise DfID on the capabilities of RFA Largs Bay and on what military assistance was required. DfID does not currently require any military assistance in the region beyond that already in Haiti. The MOD continues to take an active role in the UK response, and will provide further assistance where possible if required.

Some 130 military personnel are on board the RFA Largs Bay. Five military personnel remain in Port-au-Prince in support of the ship. Eight members of a Royal Military Police close protection team for the FCO's consular Rapid Deployment Team as well as 11 military personnel and one civilian from the Operational Liaison and Reconnaissance Team were deployed initially to Haiti following the earthquake but have all since returned to the UK. A small number of UK service personnel on exchanges (with Canada, Bermuda and USA military forces) were also deployed, or were on standby to deploy, to Haiti.

Spending by the MOD in support of Operation PANLAKE, the assistance provided by MOD to Haiti on behalf of DfID, will be recovered from DfID. At present, it is not possible to provide a final costing of the operation as the work is still being completed.