HL Deb 19 April 2000 vol 612 c100WA
Lord Moynihan

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will provide a detailed breakdown of the £44 million they have contributed to President Mugabe's land reform programme, including specific project assistance and dates of disbursement, coupled with details of how such expenditure has been targeted towards poverty alleviation in a cost effective way. [HL1904]

Baroness Amos

A grant of £20 million was agreed with the Government of Zimbabwe in 1981. This funded 42 resettlement projects for the benefit of refugees and landless people following the Independence war. British funds were used for land demarcation and fencing, provision of water and sanitation, construction of schools, clinics, and other buildings, also crop packs and training. The grant was largely disbursed by 1989; however it was eventually closed in 1996 with £3 million unspent. Over a similar period, the counterpart funds to £27 million in programme aid were used by the Government of Zimbabwe to fund its share of the programme.

An ODA evaluation in 1988 found that the majority of families settled had benefited considerably through the provision of increased opportunities for income generation and the availability of services such as health and education. The programme had also been successful from the national economic perspective having an economic rate of return of approximately 21 per cent. The Zimbabwean Comptroller and Auditor General carried out a value for money study of the programme in 1993. Despite identifying a number of shortcomings, the study concluded that the exercise was well planned in accordance with clear policies and procedures. It had benefited mainly the landless rural poor, most of whose standard of living had significantly improved.