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Volume 676: debated on Monday 11 May 2020

The humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe is bad. I had been an optimist on Zimbabwe post Mugabe, but things are bleak across the political, economic, social and humanitarian fronts. Her Majesty’s Government stand ready to support, but only when we see genuine reform. Until then, we support the people of Zimbabwe with a £140 million development package, but, crucially, none of that money goes directly through the Government of Zimbabwe.

I thank the Minister for that update. There are currently 7 million people in urban and rural areas of Zimbabwe in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, compared with only 5.5 million in August last year. What conversations has he had with the Zimbabwean Government to discuss their humanitarian needs?

On Thursday I spoke to the Department for International Development head in Zimbabwe and our ambassador about the situation. They were very clear, as I am, that we need domestic reform in Zimbabwe as well as external international development.