ontario news watch
United States

Freeland says comments about Africa aid were not meant to offend

OTTAWA — Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland says she did not mean to offend anyone in her recent comments about Africa. 

While in Washington last week, Freeland was asked about western cutbacks to aid for African countries, and concerns that this may lead them to closer ties with Russia or China.

In her reply, Freeland said that democracies can only be defended by people who are “prepared to die for their democracy.” 

She has now offered an apology to anyone who was offended. 

Freeland says western countries need to increase their work with Africa, noting that natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic have reversed gains in health and economic growth. 

The African Development Bank says western countries are diverting aid to deal with the war in Ukraine. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 17, 2022.

The Canadian Press