Raab says G7 committed to getting stranded citizens home

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said the international community will work together to face the “unprecedented challenge” of getting stranded citizens home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Raab was speaking after a conference call discussed the implications of the global crisis, with foreign ministers from the G7 group of industrialised nations taking part.

The Foreign Secretary said: “Today, I’ve agreed to work together to intensify international co-operation to support vulnerable countries, pursue a vaccine, protect the world economy, and enable our citizens who are stranded to get home safely.”

The discussion between G7 members the UK, US, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, and Canada, plus the EU centred on issues such as “preventing further crises and strengthening resilience of the most vulnerable countries”.

A spokesperson for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said: “The G7 committed support to those countries and people most at risk, leading the international effort by helping to fund the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) £71 billion overall requirement for the immediate public health response and priority research.

“Tackling the immediate health emergency – through increased support to the UN, and in particular the World Health Organisation. The seven countries committed to working together to develop, manufacture and distribute medication and vaccines including through strong financial support to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

“The G7 will also support a global accord to ensure fair access to future diagnostics, drugs and vaccines to the global community.”

The G7 committed to reducing tariffs in medical supplies and pharmaceutical products in order to help those most at risk, the FCO said.

An FCO spokesperson said: “As our citizens try to return home, we need to keep commercial options available.

“And where commercial flights are not running, ensure that special flights – where possible – can take people home.”