Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has urged the UK to restore its overseas aid budget as soon as possible, saying it is of “critical importance” in getting vaccines to the developing world.
The Microsoft founder said British voters should be “very proud” of the role their country had played in supporting Gavi – the international vaccine alliance.
However he said its impact would be diminished unless the commitment to spend 0.7% of national income on aid – which has been cut temporarily due to economic effects of the pandemic – was restored.
“The quicker the UK can get its aid level back up to the 0.7% the better,” he told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme.
“It’s been the strongest proponent of getting behind vaccines and making sure we eradicate polio and with the cutbacks we won’t be able to do as much so I hope that gets restored because it is of critical importance.”
Mr Gates expressed confidence that Covid infection levels would be reduced to “very small numbers” by the end of 2022 as vaccines became increasingly available around the…