Dominic Raab slaps down Sophy Ridge in heated foreign aid row: 'We're putting in £1.3bn!'

In a discussion about foreign aid cuts on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge this morning, host Sophy Ridge challenged Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on why the UK was cutting 85% of its funding to the UN Population Fund UK. Ms Ridge pressed the Foreign Secretary on cutting the foreign aid budget but Raab hit back praising the contributions the UK has made to the world to battle the virus so far highlighting how the UK will still give £1.3bn in aid next year.

Ridge asked whether Dominic Raab was comfortable with the cuts.

Raab replied: “I’ve found the processs of making those savings very difficult but of course you would expect that.

“What I’d say in relation to public health We are still putting £1.3 billion pounds into global public health initiatives next year, over five years it will be 1.6 billion into GAVI.”

He went on to say: “Obviously our public health spend has been shifted and focused on the pandemic.”

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“And on everything from the billion doses we’ve secured for the poorest countries around the world to the fact that we invested in the R&D (research and development) that produced the AstraZeneca vaccine which is now helping so many countries come through the pandemic.

“I think we’ve had an incredible impact!

“When I speak to doctor Tedros at the World Health Organisation or the UN Secretary General, I spoke to both of them in person this week.

“They’ve got nothing but praise for the huge impact and the leadership that we are taking.”

More to follow…

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