Despite sending reinforcements and ships to deliver help, France, Britain and the Netherlands have been criticized for not doing enough for the islands that they oversee.
After reviewing the aid operation underway at a British base in Barbados, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson defended his government’s response to one of the most devastating storms ever to hit the Caribbean.
“We have every sympathy for the suffering of the people. I think most fair-minded people, you’ve not got a thousand troops in the area. I think more than 50 police officers, more police officers coming in tonight, huge quantities of supplies coming in,” said Johnson.
The UK government pledged long-term support on Tuesday to the British territories in the Caribbean hit by Hurricane Irma.
“We’ve seen deployments of UK armed services. They are contributing massively to people’s sense of confidence. It’s all about rebuilding that sense that these beautiful islands have a future, it will take time to rebuild, but the UK is going to be in the lead in that recovery plan,” said the secretary.
Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to announce additional funds for hurricane relief.
Britain on Monday delivered its first humanitarian aid and disaster relief to the Turks and Caicos islands, its overseas territory in the Caribbean.
British Royal Air Force said it has flown more than 20 sorties within the Caribbean since Friday, moving more than 700 passengers into and around the region and delivering more than 70 tons of freight to hurricane-stricken communities. — Reuters