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Volume 458: debated on Monday 26 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe. (129608)

I am extremely concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe. About 1 million Zimbabweans are reliant on international food aid as the next harvest approaches. There has been confirmation of almost total crop failure in the southern part of the country. Many Zimbabweans face difficulty buying food because of the terrible economic situation resulting from the appalling policies of their Government. AIDS is also contributing to high mortality rates resulting in over 1.3 million orphans; approximately one in four children.

DFID has spent £33 million in the last financial year to tackle food insecurity and HIV/AIDS. All of our funding in Zimbabwe goes through UN agencies and NGOs. DFID has provided £3 million to support World Food Programmes. We have also provided £30 million for a three year programme to help over a million vulnerable people in rural and urban areas through NGO initiatives. DFID is also providing £5 million to the International Organisation for Migration to help internally displaced people.