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Zimbabwe

Volume 712: debated on Monday 6 July 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have carried out, or intend to carry out, research into the number of farmworkers displaced by farm evictions in Zimbabwe; and what channels they will use for future assistance to farmworkers and small farmers in Zimbabwe. [HL4598]

Since the formation of the inclusive government in February 2009, there have been a number of reported threats and violent or illegal incidents aimed at farmers in Zimbabwe. 3,000 farm workers have been evicted and displaced over the past two months. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is monitoring the situation closely and offering consular and other assistance as appropriate.

The Department for International Development (DfID) is providing wide-ranging humanitarian and other essential support to the poorest and most vulnerable across Zimbabwe, including both smallholder farmers and evicted farm workers. Our support includes:

£6.5 million of support to over 240,000 internally displaced people, as well as Zimbabwean migrants deported from neighbouring countries through the International Organisation for Migration (the UK is the largest donor);

£10 million in last financial year towards supporting rural livelihoods and subsistence farmers, including making seeds, tools and fertiliser available to improve local harvests; and

£500,000 for the re-integration of displaced communities into agriculture projects.

This year we have announced a £60 million package of support to the people of Zimbabwe, including a focus on boosting food security and helping the country to feed itself.