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Zimbabwe: Overseas Aid

Volume 489: debated on Friday 13 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Zimbabwe. (262442)

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 £10 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. We anticipate a total spend of £49 million this financial year across these vital areas of support. 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 fully address Zimbabwe's problems. In principle, we are ready to support economic and social recovery in Zimbabwe but this will depend on the new Government's commitment to reform, including a clear commitment to macroeconomic stabilisation and sound economic management; restoration of the rule of law; commitment to democracy; respect for human rights, and the guarantee of full humanitarian access.