OXFORDSHIRE is playing its part in the massive international relief effort to the Caribbean.

Teams at RAF Brize Norton yesterday loaded Department for International Development aid onto planes headed for the devastated islands.

The servicemen pictured here were packing supplies onto a Royal Air Force C-17 Globemaster III.

Medical supplies and other aid is being flown to the worst-hit areas after a £32m pledge from the Government.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said aircraft carrying around 230 personnel, made up of engineers, marines and medical specialists, will take rations and medical supplies to places affected including Barbados and the British Virgin Islands.

Officials said it has been difficult to gauge the extent of the damage due to communication lines coming down, but the Department for International Development (Dfid), which is co-ordinating aid, has sent advisers to Antigua, Barbados and Jamaica to assess the wreckage.

Cowley charity Oxfam, meanwhile, already has staff and volunteers helping out on the ground.

A 27-person team in Haiti has been working with authorities in assisting the evacuation of the island's second city Cap Haitien.

The charity has moved emergency aid into five locations across the country, and has more teams in the Dominican Republic and Cuba.