HL Deb 08 February 2001 vol 621 c120WA
The Earl of Northesk

asked Her Majesty's Government:

In light of reports suggesting that President Mugabe has deployed a further 6,000 troops to Congo in the aftermath of Laurent Kabila's death, whether the current levels of Department for International Development funding of Zimbabwe are appropriate. [HL566]

Baroness Amos

The UK Government strongly support the implementation of the Lusaka agreement and are concerned about Zimbabwean activity in the DRC. We will do all we can to persuade all the parties to implement the ceasefire and withdrawal agreements made at Lusaka.

The British development programme to Zimbabwe is focused on helping the poor, who are suffering from the double impact of economic collapse and HIV/AIDS. Forty per cent of our planned spending this year is on HIV/AIDS prevention, and we are also helping with rural livelihoods and water and sanitation. Cutting this assistance would hurt the poor and accelerate the spread of HIV but would have no effect on the scale of Zimbabwean involvement in the DRC.