Press Release

From the Department for International Development

07/01
1 February 2001

DFID announces next phase for UK aid to earthquake survivors

Bhuj, 1 February: After 6 days of looking for survivors, the Specialist 69-member UK Search and Rescue team is due to end its operation today. As the rescue effort winds down the focus now shifts to helping people who have lost their homes, their livelihoods and members of their families.

Dr Mukesh Kapila, Head of the UK Department for International Development’s (DFID) humanitarian aid work arrived in Bhuj today to assess UK relief efforts to date and decide next steps.

Dr Kapila said, " The UK Search and Rescue team, working together with Indian authorities, have done a great job in very difficult circumstances. Although the Search and Rescue team are leaving, a DFID presence will remain on the ground for at least the next two months.

"By the end of my visit, we will have determined how to turn our financial commitment into practical help. That means shelter, water and health care but also helping people rebuild their lives."

DFID will set up a temporary field office in the earthquake zone, which will oversee British relief efforts and coordinate work over the coming months. It will be staffed by members of DFID’s Emergency Response Team, who are staying on after leading the British search and rescue team.

Work planned is likely to include restoring safe water and electricity supplies, and supporting the work of the UN agencies.

Notes to Editors

  1. The British government has committed £10 million pounds for emergency relief to date.

  2. Regular updates on the UK response to the earthquake can be found on the DFID website at www.dfid.gov.uk

Contacts

London: DFID Press Office, Tel: 020 7917 0821 / 0600 / 0950 / 0533
Bhuj: Mary McCollum, Tel: +44 7771 984 860
Ahmedabad: Sonal Bhatt, Tel: 00 98111 56968 or (079) 7552929

Websites:
DFID: www.dfid.gov.uk
British High Commission, Delhi: www.ukinindia.com
International Rescue Corps: www.intrescue.org

Back to Top


Press Enquiries: 020 7917 0600 Overseas (+44 20 7917 0600)
Public Enquiries: 0845 3004100 Overseas (+44 1355 84 3132)