Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 21st March 2007.

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Photo of Keith Vaz Keith Vaz Labour, Leicester East

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will make a statement on the current economic situation in Zimbabwe.

Photo of Ian McCartney Ian McCartney Minister of State (Trade & Investment), Department of Trade and Industry, Minister of State (Trade & Investment), Foreign & Commonwealth Office

The economic situation in Zimbabwe is dire. The official rate of inflation is now in excess of 1,700 per cent. although most reliable estimates place it in excess of 3,000 per cent., there is 80 per cent. unemployment and the country, which was once the breadbasket of southern Africa, is now dependant on food relief to feed its own people. The responsibility for this rests fully with Mugabe and until there is a much-needed change of policy, the economic disintegration of Zimbabwe is set to continue.

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