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Zimbabwe: Overseas Aid

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 3 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department plans to take to provide assistance to the people of Zimbabwe in the next 12 months. (253099)

The Department for International Development's (DFID) programme in Zimbabwe is focused on providing immediate humanitarian support and broader livelihoods assistance to meet the essential needs of the people of Zimbabwe. This year we have provided: £9 million to the World Food programme for food aid; £10 million to support the growing season; and £9 million to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. We also recently made £10 million available to tackle the cholera outbreak and support life-saving essential health systems. The UK is one of the largest donors giving £45 million last year in aid. We anticipate a total spend of £47 million this financial year across these areas of life-saving need. Our aid is channelled through the UN and NGOs and not the Government of Zimbabwe.

We anticipate the need for sustained large-scale humanitarian support from the international community for the foreseeable future and we are monitoring the situation very closely. However, a sustainable and credible political solution is required to really address Zimbabwe's problems. In principle, we are ready to support economic and social recovery in Zimbabwe but the nature of our support will be contingent on a new administration’s commitment to change, including: commitment to macroeconomic stabilisation; restoration of the rule of law; commitment to democracy and respect for human rights and full humanitarian access.