Britain should be a “force for good in the world”, Dominic Raab said, as he heralded the start of the rollout of vaccines under the Covax initiative.
The mass rollout of vaccines was beginning in Ivory Coast on Monday.
Some 504,000 of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine arrived in the commercial capital of Abidjan on Friday as part of the scheme to which the UK is committing £548 million in aid funding.
The Foreign Secretary told reporters: “What we are seeing today is the first mass rollout at Cote d’Ivoire, half a million doses, part of our strategy to get the most vulnerable people in 92 of the developing countries vaccinated by June.
“And that’s because we believe Britain should be a force for good in the world but also because we recognise that we are not safe until everyone is safe.”
Meanwhile the vaccination programme in Ghana, the first country to receive a delivery of doses from Covax, was also beginning.
While the Government is among the biggest donors to Covax, it has come under criticism for slashing the aid budget to 0.5% of gross national income, despite the Conservative manifesto pledging to keep it at 0.7%.