ShelterBox’s rapid response

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Helston-based charity ShelterBox is to join a network of experts who can be called on by Government in times of international crisis, such as famine, floods and earthquakes.

ShelterBox tents in Dadaab, Kenya

The new facility will mobilise life-saving support from Britain’s best businesses and charities in the critical hours after a disaster strikes.

Supplies, experts and vital aid are too often tied up with paperwork, rather than being deployed straight to the disaster zone, International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said.

ShelterBox is one of an initial 34 non-government organisations which specialise in disaster response which has been invited by the UK Government to join the network.

It helped 28,000 vulnerable families made homeless by the Haiti earthquake; provided shelter for 15,000 families and water filtration equipment for 20,000 families affected by the Pakistan floods in 2010; and delivered shelter for more than 8,500 families affected by drought in the Horn of Africa last year.

ShelterBox chief operating officer, John Leach, said: “The Rapid Response Facility allows us to focus on what we do best – delivering emergency shelter and equipment to families in the shortest time possible. It will make a huge difference to the scale at which we can operate immediately after a large humanitarian crisis.”