HC Deb 14 March 2001 vol 364 c658W
16. Sir Teddy Taylor

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the aid programme for Zimbabwe. [152224]

Clare Short

The economic and political situation in Zimbabwe is deeply worrying. The economy is set to shrink by a further 6 per cent. this year and the poor of Zimbabwe in particular are suffering badly—jobs are being lost, prices are increasing and there is a potential for food shortages.

I have kept the UK development programme under close review since 1997. We have since made clear that we support land reform in Zimbabwe but having fulfilled our commitments under the Lancaster House agreement could only fund reform which was transparent and provided land to poor farmers. I have recently authorised a £20 million HIV/AIDS programme because one in four adult Zimbabweans are HIV positive. I am sure the House will agree that we should do what we can to lessen the suffering of the people of Zimbabwe as a result of the behaviour of their Government.

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