An RAF plane has left the UK for the Philippines to assist with the relief effort following the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan.
The death toll from the typhoon that swept central Philippines last weekend has reached over 3,422 according to the Philippines government, with as many as 11 million people affected by the disaster.
The C-17 transport plane, which has previously helped in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004, left RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire this morning as part of Britain's response to the disaster.
It will be transporting heavy duty vehicles including two JCB diggers, two Land Rovers, a forklift truck, and cutting equipment to help reopen roads and clear the route to isolated areas.
Medical supplies will also be transported with the aircraft due to land in 24 hours.
Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening said the aircraft would boost Britain's ability to provide crucial essentials, such as medicine and shelter, to those in need.
“Britain’s deployment of the RAF Boeing C-17 is a huge boost in our ability to get large amounts of kit and aid over to the people of the Philippines almost 7,000 miles away," she said.
“Its first flight from RAF Brize Norton is a vital part of our efforts there, delivering JCB fork lifts and diggers, 4x4 Land Rovers, cutting and other equipment to help reopen roads and clear the way to hard-to-reach areas."
A 12-strong team of British doctors, surgeons and paramedics landed in the capital Manila yesterday to help treat survivors of the typhoon, the Department for International Development said.
The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has said its charity appeal to help the estimated 11.5 million people affected has raised £23 million in just two days, while the Government has donated more than £20 million in aid.
"What happened in the Philippines is an absolute tragedy. You can see the devastation, the suffering, and it's quite clear that we are going to need long-term help for those people.
"As ever, the British people have been very generous with their donations.The British Government has already pledged over £20 million, which makes us one of the most generous donors anywhere in the world. But it's practical action that's needed as well."