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Zimbabwe: Economic Situation

Volume 492: debated on Tuesday 19 May 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions he has had with officials from the African Development Bank on a financial rescue package for Zimbabwe; and if he will make a statement. (275318)

Ministers from the Department for International Development (DFID) have met with Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), on a number of occasions over recent months. Most recently the Secretary of State met him on 2 April 2009 at the G20 summit in London. DFID staff have also held regular meetings at senior level with African Development Bank officials, including most recently at the AfDB annual meetings in Senegal on May 13-14.

In all of these meetings we have emphasised the importance of a strong AfDB role and country presence to provide early technical support to key institutions in the new Inclusive Government, to help co-ordinate donor engagement and, generally, to help build and maintain momentum for much needed reform efforts in Zimbabwe. However, further major support from the AfDB, from other institutions such as the IMF and World Bank and from the wider donor community will only be made available when we begin to see evidence of a commitment to political and economic reform. Establishing a track record on strong and competent fiscal management and tackling debt arrears will be key issues for the Inclusive Government in building confidence with the international community to support recovery.