Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2019-21 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
Asked by Lisa Nandy
(Wigan)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 04 June 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in Zimbabwe on a Government of Zimbabwe investigation into the recent abduction and torture of opposition Member of Parliament Joana Mamombe and fellow MDC-Alliance members Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova.
Q
Asked by Lord Oates
Asked on: 03 June 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Zimbabwe: Abduction
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have considered further targeted measures against leaders of the Zimbabwe security apparatus following reports of the violent assault and torture of Joanna Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova.
Q
Asked by Lord Oates
Asked on: 03 June 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Zimbabwe: Abduction
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have had ministerial discussions with the government of the Republic of South Africa on a joint approach to the political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe following (1) reports of the violent assault and torture of Joanna Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova, and (2) the decision of the Zimbabwe authorities to conduct a trial against them for demonstrating against food shortages in hospital.
Q
Asked by Lord Oates
Asked on: 03 June 2020
Home Office
Deportation: Zimbabwe
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to suspend all removals of Zimbabwe citizens from the UK in the light of the political, economic and humanitarian situation in that country.
Q
Asked by Lord Hain
Asked on: 02 June 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Zimbabwe: Abduction
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action has been taken by the HM Ambassador in Harare and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in relation to the reported attack, abduction and torture by security forces in Zimbabwe of Joana Mamombe and two of her colleagues from the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance.
Q
Asked by Lord Hain
Asked on: 02 June 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Zimbabwe: Commonwealth
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that the application by the government of Zimbabwe to re-join the Commonwealth is suspended until any violations of human rights cease and are addressed, including the reported arrest, abduction and torture of Joana Mamombe, Netsai Marova and Cecilia Chimbiri on 13 May.
Q
Asked by Lord Hain
Asked on: 02 June 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Zimbabwe: Abduction
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Zimbabwe about the arrest, abduction and torture of Netsai Marova and Cecilia Chimbiri on 13 May.
Q
Asked by Lord Hain
Asked on: 02 June 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Zimbabwe: Abduction
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action has been taken by HM Ambassador in Harare in relation to the arrest, abduction and torture of Netsai Marova and Cecilia Chimbiri on 13 May.
Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 01 June 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Zimbabwe: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Zimbabwean counterpart on recent media reports of human rights abuses in that country.
Asked on: 06 May 2020
Department for International Trade
Trade Agreements
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government with which countries they (1) have made trade agreements since 1 January, and (2) are currently engaged in trade negotiations.
Answered on: 20 May 2020

HM Government launched negotiations on a new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the United Kingdom and the United States of America on 5th May 2020. We plan to launch negotiations with Japan this month and with Australia and New Zealand shortly after. We also continue to work to secure continuity agreements with all remaining countries that had a trade agreement with the EU on 31st January 2020. To date, HM Government has signed 20 agreements with 48 countries.

Agreements Signed to Date:

• Switzerland
• Liechtenstein
• Iceland, Norway
• Israel
• the Palestinian Authority
• Chile
• the Faroe Islands
• Eastern and Southern Africa states (Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Zimbabwe)
• The Pacific states (Fiji and Papua New Guinea)
• A series of CARIFORUM countries (Barbados, Belize, The Commonwealth of Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, The Republic of Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago)
• Andean countries (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru)
• Central American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama)
• South Korea
• Lebanon
• Tunisia
• SACU+M
• Georgia
• Morocco
• Jordan
• Kosovo

Agreements yet to be Signed

• Algeria
• Albania
• Bosnia and Herzigovina
• Cameroon
• Canada
• Cote d’Ivoire
• East African Community (EAC)
• Egypt
• Ghana
• Mexico
• Moldova
• Montenegro
• North Macedonia
• Serbia
• Singapore
• Ukraine

Q
(Cardiff South and Penarth)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 24 April 2020
Department for International Development
Africa: HIV Infection
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the use of expired anti-retroviral (ARV) HIV medication in (a) Zimbabwe and (b) other African countries; and what steps her Department is taking to ensure that flows of in-date ARVs are maintained to tackle HIV during the covid-19 pandemic.
A
Answered by: James Duddridge
Answered on: 30 April 2020

DFID Zimbabwe does not bilaterally fund the procurement of ARVs in Zimbabwe. The Global Fund – to which the UK is the second largest donor – does however provide support for the procurement of ARVs in Zimbabwe. In June 2019, concerns were raised over the distribution of expired ARVs, procured through the Global Fund. At the time of procurement, the ARVs expiry date was approaching but ARVS were urgently needed as there was a risk of stocks in country. Assurances were provided by the Manufacturer and the Medical Council Association of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) that the medicines were safe and effective before they were distributed.

DFID’s central teams work closely with the Global Fund to ensure they are actively monitoring supply chain issues at a global level and engage closely with partners. Global Fund Partners are supported in implementing good practices including safeguarding against purchase and use of expired drugs.

The COVID-19 outbreak presents a risk to the ongoing supply and distribution of ARVs. The majority of ARV procurement and distribution in Zimbabwe is funded by PEPFAR and USAID have taken several steps to ensure that patients continue to receive their prescriptions such as providing monthly rather than weekly prescriptions, so patients do not have to visit clinics so frequently. The Global Fund is also flexing to cope with the crisis. It has created up to $1 billion of flexible funding opportunities for countries to re-programme existing grants and apply for additional funding, including in Zimbabwe. This will support countries with their direct COVID-19 response, address critical gaps in health systems, and to adapt their HIV, TB, and malaria programmes, including if needed to reinforce in-country ARV supply chain management.

Q
Asked by Ruth Jones
(Newport West)
Asked on: 17 March 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Zimbabwe: Humanitarian Situation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe.
A
Answered by: James Duddridge
Answered on: 25 March 2020

The UK is seriously concerned about the challenging humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe. Humanitarian needs are rising, due to the combination of poor and erratic rains and a deteriorating economic situation. Recent analysis shows that without support 5.5 million people in rural areas and 2.2 million in urban areas will not have access to the food they need. In response to these needs, the Department for International Development has committed £49 million through a new Zimbabwe Humanitarian and Resilience Programme to support people who do not have access to the food they need.

Our Embassy in Harare continues to monitor developments closely, encouraging the Government of Zimbabwe to implement the Staff Monitored Programme (which runs until March this year) agreed with the International Monetary Fund. Our Ambassador discussed the humanitarian crisis facing the country and reinforced the need for comprehensive political and economic reform and the protection of the poorest during her meeting with Vice President Chiwenga on 9 December 2019. On 11 March the Zimbabwean Finance Minister announced a set of measures intended to stabilize the exchange rate and inflation. Whilst we welcome the measures, which are in line with the recent IMF recommendations, we will monitor closely how the measures are now implemented.

Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
Asked on: 27 February 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Zimbabwe: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the human rights situation in Zimbabwe.
A
Answered by: James Duddridge
Answered on: 06 March 2020

The UK is seriously concerned about the challenging human rights situation in Zimbabwe. We saw a significant increase in human rights violations in 2019, including abductions, arrests and assault of civil society, trade union and opposition activists and the banning of protests. Zimbabwe remains one of the UK's 30 Human Rights Priority Countries globally. The UK Ambassador last met Vice President Chiwenga on 9 December 2019 and discussed the economic crisis and political situation in Zimbabwe, reinforcing the need for comprehensive political and economic reform and the protection of the poorest. The UK is providing £128 million of aid to Zimbabwe during this financial year 2019/20 focusing on poverty reduction, humanitarian assistance and standing up for human rights and the rule of law. No money is channeled directly through the government. DFID has also committed £49 million through a new Zimbabwe Humanitarian and Resilience Programme (ZHARP) to support people who do not have access to the food they need.

Q
Asked on: 11 February 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Zimbabwe: Economic Situation
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the (1) economic, and (2) food security, situation in Zimbabwe.
A
Answered on: 24 February 2020

The Zimbabwean economy faces severe challenges and the economic situation remains fragile. Our Embassy in Harare continues to monitor developments closely, encouraging the Government of Zimbabwe to implement the Staff Monitored Programme (which runs until March this year) agreed with the International Monetary Fund. Our Ambassador discussed the economic crisis facing the country and reinforced the need for comprehensive political and economic reform and the protection of the poorest during her meeting with Vice President Chiwenga on 9 December 2019.

Humanitarian needs are rising in Zimbabwe due to the combination of poor and erratic rains and a deteriorating economic situation. Recent analysis shows that without support 5.5 million people in rural areas and 2.2 million in urban areas will not have access to the food they need. This represents 47% of the total population and 59% of rural population. In response to these needs, the Department for International Development has committed £49 million through a new Zimbabwe Humanitarian and Resilience Programme to support people who do not have access to the food they need.

Q
(Edinburgh West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 10 February 2020
Home Office
UK Visas and Immigration: Zimbabwe
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of UK Visas and Immigration’s country policy and information notes on Zimbabwe.
Q
(Edinburgh West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 10 February 2020
Home Office
Deportation: Zimbabwe
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the treatment of refused asylum seekers after their return to Zimbabwe.
Q
(Edinburgh West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 10 February 2020
Home Office
Deportation: Zimbabwe
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum seekers have been returned to Zimbabwe in each of the last four calendar years.
Q
(Birmingham, Edgbaston)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 27 January 2020
Department for International Development
Developing Countries: Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the economic effect of climate change does not result in a disproportionate reduction in adolescent girls accessing education.
A
Answered by: Andrew Stephenson
Answered on: 30 January 2020

Coping with climate change is a challenge that faces us all and it is having wide ranging effects on economies, livelihoods, access to education and natural resources. The poorest communities, and girls and women within them, are likely to be hardest hit, which is why we are investing in building the resilience of the world’s poorest by doubling our International Climate Finance which since 2011, has helped 57 million people cope with the effects of climate change.

We know that girls are two and half times more likely to be out of school in emergencies, including climate related emergencies. That’s why at the G7 Summit in 2019, the Prime Minister announced an unprecedented £90 million commitment for education in emergencies over 4½ years. This included £85 million to Education Cannot Wait the global fund for education in emergencies. UK support has helped the fund reach over a million of the most vulnerable girls, including those affected by Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. The £90 million investment is a key plank of the PM’s plan to ensure more girls benefit from 12 years of education.

As the leading global actor on girl’s education, we will continue to make substantial investments supporting marginalised girls in education. The UK’s Flagship Girls’ Education Challenge, the largest global fund to girls’ education, is now supporting up to 1.5 million girls across 17 countries.

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