UK to support Haiti earthquake response with humanitarian aid and Royal Navy ship


The UK government announced today (Thursday 19 August) up to £ 1million in initial support for Haiti, as the country recovers from the recent devastating earthquake.

This is in addition to the UK’s significant contributions to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, the Red Cross Disaster Relief Emergency Fund and the Start-up Fund, which have allocated respectively £ 5.8 million, £ 600,000 and £ 250,000.

The Royal Navy ship RFA WAVE KNIGHT will also support the US contribution to the international humanitarian response.

The Wave-class rapid refueller – part of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) of the Royal Navy – will serve as a landing pad for US military helicopters responding to the crisis in Haiti.

Following a request for international assistance from the Haitian government, the United Kingdom will send a team of medical experts and a British humanitarian expert is deployed from the UN to provide support.

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said:

Caribbean communities can count on the Royal Navy to come to their aid in the event of a disaster. The Royal Navy is proud to support the British Overseas Territories and other partners in the Caribbean during hurricane season. I am proud that the UK can now play a role in the US effort to respond to the devastating earthquake in Haiti.

Experts from the UK Emergency Medical Team (UK EMT) will be deployed to Haiti this week to assess medical assistance needs and identify additional support.

The team of 4 medical experts from the UK, Italy and France specializes in emergency medicine, rehabilitation and logistics, as well as humanitarian healthcare. They should deploy for up to 2 weeks.

British Caribbean Minister Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon said:

It is at times like this that the international community must unite to come to the aid of people in crisis. UK support will complement Haiti’s efforts to provide emergency relief to the most vulnerable, including access to essential health care and sanitation.

In addition to this, a British humanitarian expert will arrive in Haiti as part of a United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) mission, to help assess the damage and humanitarian needs resulting from the earthquake.

The UK will also support the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) which will assist the Haiti Civil Protection Directorate (DGPC) in its operations and coordination.

Notes to Editors

  • United Kingdom-Med is a frontline medical aid charity providing UK EMT doctors and nurses. Humanity & Inclusion United Kingdom is an international charity for people with disabilities which provides rehabilitation specialists to UK EMT.
  • The UNDAC team is part of the international emergency response system for sudden emergencies. It is designed to assist the United Nations and the governments of disaster-affected countries in meeting international needs for early and skilled information during the first phase of a sudden emergency, as well as in coordinating inbound international relief. at the national level and / or on the site of the emergency.
  • The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) has agreed to pay Haiti approximately $ 40 million. The UK is a founding donor and is funding Haiti’s subscription as the primary donor to the Caribbean Development Bank.
  • The UK has long been a CERF supporter. In 2020, the UK was a major donor to the Fund, providing £ 66million ($ 88.6million) to support responses to humanitarian needs across the world.
  • The UK supported the creation of the Start Fund in 2014 and remains a major contributor to it, committing £ 49.5million from July 2018 to July 2022.
  • The FCDO has committed a UK contribution of £ 6million to the DREF (£ 1.5million per year 2020-2023).


  • Two British Navy ships – RFA WAVE KNIGHT and HMS MEDWAY – are currently deployed to the Caribbean to provide humanitarian aid and disaster relief. They have been deployed to the Caribbean since May 2021 to support the British Overseas Territories and other partner countries in the region throughout the hurricane season.
  • RFA WAVE KNIGHT arrived off the west coast of Haiti in the early hours of Wednesday (BST). It will allow U.S. helicopters to refuel as they fly to and from the island, extending their range and the time available to support disaster relief efforts.
  • The Royal Fleet Auxiliary is the civilian support arm of the Royal Navy, providing vital logistical and operational support to military operations.
  • Photographs and images of RFA WAVE KNIGHT are available at
  • For more updates, follow @ DefenseHQ / @ DefenseHQPress. You can contact the MOD press service on 020 7218 7907.

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