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Southern Africa

Volume 400: debated on Wednesday 26 February 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on humanitarian aid to southern Africa. [98734]

Southern Africa continues to suffer from a major humanitarian crisis. 14.4 million people in six countries receive help from the international community. More than half of these are in Zimbabwe, where UK programmes alone are feeding almost 2 million people.The international response to this crisis has prevented large-scale deaths and we are now confident that adequate supplies are available until the April harvests and that the position in many of these countries will improve. However, the disastrous economic policies in Zimbabwe mean that massive food aid will still be needed there.


To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when she next expects to meet Commonwealth colleagues to discuss international aid efforts to Zimbabwe. [98736]

I have no current plans to discuss international aid efforts with commonwealth colleagues. The international community is responding to the humanitarian crisis within the context of a UN coordinated effort. I have recently discussed the crisis with the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy, Mr James Morris. I have also written to OECD colleagues to urge further support.