Part of Oral Answers to Questions — International Development – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 5th December 2007.

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Photo of Douglas Alexander Douglas Alexander The Secretary of State for International Development 11:30 am, 5th December 2007

I recognise and commend the hon. Gentleman's long-standing interest in Zimbabwe and concern for the humanitarian crisis in that country. There is common accord between us in recognising the scale of that crisis today. The economy has halved in size in less than 10 years. As he describes, 4 million people—a third of the population—are now reliant on food aid. I part company with him, however, in that I recognise we are taking urgent action on the humanitarian issue: we committed £40 million this year to the humanitarian effort. Through the good offices of the President of South Africa and other African leaders, along with our work in the European Union, we are one of the leading countries in urging international action against the Zimbabwean regime.