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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 January, 2005, 08:07 GMT
Aid flies out for tsunami islands
Princes William and Harry
Princes William and Harry helped pack the hygiene kits
A plane carrying aid for victims of the tsunami disaster has left Manston airport in Kent bound for the Maldives.

The flight contained about 1,000 hygiene kits which Princes William and Harry helped assemble last week at the British Red Cross warehouse in Bristol.

Generators to provide electricity for 30,000 families were also on the plane which left late on Wednesday night.

The British Red Cross said the Boxing Day catastrophe had seriously affected a third of the country's inhabitants.

'Fulfilling needs'

Paul Anticoni, from the Red Cross, said: "There is little doubt many communities, particularly in the south have been devastated, and 13 islands have been virtually destroyed with their populations evacuated to other islands.

"These essential non-food relief items are fulfilling the immediate needs of those people affected by the disaster."

The kits contain items such as toilet rolls, toothbrushes, toothpaste and soap.

They will be given out to thousands of displaced families who have congregated on the capital island of Male.

The Red Cross said it was working on plans for the next three to 12 months to help the inhabitants of the Maldives rebuild their lives.

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