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Boris Johnson to visit islands affected by Hurricane Irma

14 September 2017

The problem for the future is that a lot more money is going to be needed to help the long-term reconstruction of the three territories and that will put a huge strain on government budgets if official aid can not be used.

The Prime Minister's spokesman said: "We began detailed work after the election to change the rules to prevent precisely these kind of scenarios".

The Department for International Development insisted that the fact that the territories were not eligible for official development assistance had not affected the UK's emergency relief.

These are agreed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris, of which Britain is a member.

Countries are given a ranking according to need, which is meant to ensure the poorest countries take priority.

A Government spokesman said: "This was an unprecedented disaster and it's absolutely right that the Government responded immediately to the needs of those affected".

"This has been our primary focus and continues to be our priority".

"What we are working on at the moment is changing the rules at the OECD, but the manifesto set out that if that wasn't possible we could look at changing the rules here and that remains the case".

"These millions (announced by the government) are non-ODA", he said.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has praised the response of the community in Anguilla after landing on the island to witness first-hand the devastation unleashed by Hurricane Irma.

"Some of the islands devastated by Hurricane Irma rely heavily on EU money through the European Development Fund to support their infrastructural development", said acting committee chairman Lord Michael Jay.

The Government has pledged to match donations made by the public until the private donation total reaches £3m. These are British people on British territories and in times of crisis we stand by them.

People can search a list of names or register their relatives' details, while individuals caught up in the hurricane can register as being "safe and well".

But he denied the United Kingdom had been slow to react.

She rejected claims her government had been too slow to act, and noted that more than 1,000 British military personnel are now in the region, with another 200 due to arrive within days, along with more than 60 police officers.

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.

Boris Johnson to visit islands affected by Hurricane Irma