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 2017-19 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 Ruth Jones
(Newport West)
Asked on: 08 July 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Zimbabwe: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the political situation in Zimbabwe.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 16 July 2019

We welcome recent political reform efforts by the Government of Zimbabwe, including commitment to repeal the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Public Order and Security Act in line with Zimbabwe's constitution.

However, Zimbabwe remains one of the UK's 30 Human Rights Priority Countries globally. We continue to call for the Government of Zimbabwe to uphold the rule of law and human rights and promote free and fair elections, under the protection of the 2013 Constitution and international human rights law. We also call on all political parties to enter into a genuine national dialogue.

Asked on: 04 June 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Zimbabwe: Politics and Government
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have discussed with the government of Zimbabwe reports by human rights and civil society organisations in that country of a crackdown against activists, including the recent case of seven activists who were detained on treason charges in May at Harare International Airport on their return from the Maldives.
A
Answered on: 17 June 2019

​We continue to raise our serious concerns regarding the arrests of civil society activists in Zimbabwe. Our Ambassador in Harare raised the case of the seven activists with Zimbabwean Foreign Minister Moyo on 30 May. Embassy officials have also attended court hearings. The UK provides extensive financial and technical assistance to civil society organisations in Zimbabwe who support Zimbabwean citizens in holding the state to account.

Q
Asked by Tracey Crouch
(Chatham and Aylesford)
Asked on: 21 May 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Lions: East Africa
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether there is evidence that rural communities in (a) Tanzania, (b) Zambia and (c) Zimbabwe have benefited from lion trophy hunting in those countries.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 30 May 2019

The Government has previously commissioned a report by Professor Macdonald on Lion Conservation with Particular Respect to the Issue of Trophy Hunting. This report found that the primary benefit associated with trophy hunting is the protection of wildlife habitat by reducing the major threat of habitat loss. Lion trophy hunting enables land to be maintained under wildlife-based land use and often prevents the conversion of the area to other forms of land use such as agriculture. This habitat protection is also important for many other species, including endangered species. The report notes that a total area of around 1.4 million km2 was conserved for trophy-hunting in sub-Saharan Africa, which exceeded the area of national parks in those countries by 22%. The report also cited studies on the number of jobs supported by trophy hunting.

Environmental non-governmental organisations (ENGOs) take different views on trophy hunting. My Hon. friend may be interested in the evidence cited by the

IUCN (https://d2ouvy59p0dg6k.cloudfront.net/downloads/iucn_informingdecisionsontrophyhuntingv1_1.pdf)

WWF (https://d2ouvy59p0dg6k.cloudfront.net/downloads/wwf_policy_and_considerations_re_trophy_hunting__july_2016_.pdf),

and Save the Rhino (https://www.savetherhino.org/assets/0001/7279/What_is_trophy_hunting.pdf).

Grouped Questions: 256999 | 257000
Q
(Rochford and Southend East)
Asked on: 21 May 2019
Department for International Development
Zimbabwe: Water
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of clean water provision in Harare.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 29 May 2019

Out of a daily demand of 800 mega litres, the City of Harare is only able to provide 500 mega litres. Through a multi-donor trust fund called ZIMFUND, DFID has, since 2010, supported the rehabilitation of water supply infrastructure to improve waste water treatment capacity and water supply to some areas. Through UNICEF we are supporting the City of Harare with repairing water infrastructures and boreholes in cholera prone areas.

Q
(Coventry South)
[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: 20 May 2019
Department for International Development
Internally Displaced People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps his Department is taking to help people displaced within their country of origin as a result of (a) conflict and (b) natural disasters.
A
Answered by: Dr Andrew Murrison
Answered on: 23 May 2019

The UK is committed to meeting the needs of all internally displaced persons, whether they are displaced as a result of conflict or natural disasters. DFID provides funding to key agencies involved in responding to the needs of internally displaced persons, including the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

The UK is a significant humanitarian donor in many countries with displaced populations. For example in South Sudan, in 2017/18 our support reached over 420,000 people with food assistance, over 370,000 women and children with nutrition support, and over 680,000 people with access to safe drinking water and/or improved sanitation facilities, many of whom are internally displaced. In Iraq, DFID support has helped provide food assistance to over 408,000 people, emergency cash transfers to over 274,000 people, and life-saving healthcare services to over 4.1m people, including those internally displaced. Additionally, in Syria where there are over 6 million of internally displaced persons, DFID has spent over £1 billion in humanitarian response.

The UK has provided £36 million in response to Cyclone Idai which is estimated to have affected 2.6 million people in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. UK support includes the provision of an estimated 7,550 shelter kits and 100 family tents in Mozambique, emergency shelter for 65,000, food assistance for 150,000 people for two months in Malawi and health and child protection assistance in Zimbabwe.

Furthermore the UK is working with UN Member states and the Secretary General to establish a High level Panel on Internally Displaced People, with aim of galvanising action to reduce the numbers of internally displaced people provide more effective protection and assistance.

Q
(North East Hampshire)
[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: 15 May 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Zimbabwe: Elephants
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his counterparts in the (a) People's Republic of China, (b) United Arab Emirates and (c) Republic of Zimbabwe on the Republic of Zimbabwe's sale of 97 elephants to zoos in China and the UAE since 2012.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 20 May 2019

International trade in live elephants from Zimbabwe is permitted under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) if certain conditions are met. The UK does not have the power to intervene in the way in which another Party implements the Convention.

On 30 April, I spoke to Priscah Mupfumira, Zimbabwe Minister of Environment, Tourism and the Hospitality Industry, raising our concerns pertaining to elephants captured from the wild in Zimbabwe. Our Embassies in Beijing and Abu Dhabi are aware of the issue and regularly raise conservation issues with the respective governments.

Q
(North East Hampshire)
[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: 15 May 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Zimbabwe: Ivory
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department plans to change its policy in respect of the representations made by the Republic of Zimbabwe for the lifting of the global ban on the ivory trade in order to sell £231 million of ivory.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 20 May 2019

We have no plans to change our policy regarding the sale of ivory. The international trade in elephant ivory is currently banned under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). A proposal has been put forward by a small number of CITES Parties, including Zimbabwe, for consideration at the 18th meeting of CITES Conference of the Parties (CoP) to resume international trade in ivory from these countries. These proposals will be subject to robust challenge at the CoP before any decision.

Q
(North East Hampshire)
[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: 15 May 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Zimbabwe: Elephants
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of (a) the accuracy and (b) the implications of the assessment by the Tourism Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe that Zimbabwe's carrying capacity is 55,000 elephants but the country now has a population of 85,000 elephants.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 20 May 2019

Zimbabwe has the second largest population of elephants in the world and overpopulation of elephants is a result of good conservation practice. We are working with the Government of Zimbabwe on long term solutions to the issue, such as our Green Corridors initiative, and will continue to support wildlife conservation in Zimbabwe.

Q
Asked by Joan Ryan
(Enfield North)
[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: 01 May 2019
Department for International Development
Mozambique: Storms
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what the outcome was of her meeting at the World Bank to attract donors to make long-term reconstruction investments in Mozambique following Cyclone Idai and Cyclone Kenneth.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 08 May 2019

The meeting was successful in raising international awareness, coordinating support and increasing funding for the Cylone Response including reconstruction. Following the meeting a number of donors substantially increased their support. The World Bank have set out plans for a regional operation, covering Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. This will focus on “building back better” and climate resilient infrastructure. The UK also welcomes the news that Mozambique plans to host a reconstruction conference in the coming months. On 3 May, the World Bank announced that it had mobilised over half a billion dollars in new resources to help people in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

Q
(North West Norfolk)
Asked on: 26 April 2019
Department for International Development
Zimbabwe: Disaster Relief
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, in addition to recently announced humanitarian assistance, what steps her Department is taking to ensure the immediate and the long-term development needs in Zimbabwe are met after Cyclone Idai.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 07 May 2019

The UK has committed £2.45 million which will go towards supporting water and sanitation, child protection and cash grants in cyclone affected areas. In addition UK will continue to focus on poverty reduction, humanitarian assistance including helping people to cope with pre-existing drought and economic crisis.

In addition to the recently announced humanitarian assistance, UK Aid operates an extensive programme in Zimbabwe, working to support the poorest and most vulnerable as well as at the same time helping lay the foundations for a more prosperous, peaceful and democratic Zimbabwe, driving growth and poverty reduction. DFID’s priorities in Zimbabwe are:

  • Strengthening peace, democracy, and good governance
  • Promoting economic reform and prosperity
  • Strengthening resilience and responding to crises
  • Supporting basic services for the poorest and most vulnerable
Q
(North West Norfolk)
Asked on: 26 April 2019
Department for International Development
Zimbabwe: Disaster Relief
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to support climate change resilience programes in Zimbabwe after Cyclone Idai.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 07 May 2019

UK Aid supports climate change resilience in 30 of Zimbabwe’s 59 rural districts. The UK is helping over a million people to cope with the effects of climate change through the adoption of more climate-resilient agricultural practices, diversifying livelihoods, and developing plans and policies for climate resilience.

Q
(Coventry South)
[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: 23 April 2019
Department for International Development
Zimbabwe: Food
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department taking to tackle the food shortage in Zimbabwe.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 29 April 2019

An estimated 5.3 million rural and urban Zimbabweans are food insecure due to the combination of poor rains, a deteriorating economic situation and the impact of Cyclone Idai. DFID has already contributed £4 million to assist 116,000 food insecure people via small cash grants delivered by the World Food Programme, a UN agency. DFID also added £1 million to its ongoing support to resilience building, enabling 43,500 people to benefit from agricultural and water-related assistance. Plans for additional assistance are currently being formulated.

Q
Asked by Julian Knight
(Solihull)
Asked on: 10 April 2019
Department for International Development
Development Aid: Charities
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what support her Department provides to small charities that provide international development assistance.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 17 April 2019

DFID’s Small Charities Challenge Fund opened in September 2017 as a pilot fund to support small British charities working towards the Global Goals. 53 grants to small British charities have been approved and further grants will be announced shortly. Grantees include Welsh charity Bees for Development who are providing training for new beekeepers in Ethiopia and Ipswich-based P.H.O.E.B.E. who are setting working with women with mental health issues in Zimbabwe. We will launch the scheme as a permanent fund in Summer 2019.

Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 08 April 2019
Department for International Development
Southern Africa: Storms
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the Government is taking to support the recovery (a) Mozambique and (b) other east coast African nations after the recent cyclone which affected those countries.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 16 April 2019

So far, the UK has provided a package of up to £36m support to the response to Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe. This UK aid funding is supporting the provision of food (through both in-kind assistance and cash transfers) to hundreds of thousands of people; life-saving relief supplies, such as family tents and hygiene kits; and child protection assistance. Up to £4m of UK aid funding will also be used to support the provision of education to affected people in Mozambique following the destruction of schools during the cyclone.

Q
Asked by Lord Goodlad
Asked on: 01 April 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Zimbabwe: Pensions
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in discussions with the government of Zimbabwe on the payment of pensions arrears owed to former Crown Overseas Servants.
A
Answered on: 09 April 2019

We regularly press the government of Zimbabwe on the importance of fulfilling their responsibilities to all those who are entitled to a Zimbabwe government pension. In 2016, we secured written agreement from the Government of Zimbabwe that payments would resume when the economic situation allows. This issue remains a key strand of the Government's dialogue with the government of Zimbabwe. We will raise it again in the near future.

Q
(Slough)
[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: 03 April 2019
Department for International Development
Southern Africa: Storms
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Department, what progress is being made in getting aid to people in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi after Cyclone Idai.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 08 April 2019

The UK is currently the largest donor to the Cyclone Idai response, providing £22 million of UK aid, £4 million of which is to match the UK public’s generous contributions to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s appeal. This is being used to deliver life-saving relief: tents and thousands of shelter kits are being distributed to those who have lost everything. UK aid is supporting the World Food Programme to feed 400,000 people in Mozambique, and cash transfers for food purchases in Malawi. In Zimbabwe, we are providing essential health, hygiene and child protection support. We continue to monitor the situation very closely, and the UK stands ready to provide further support if needed.

Q
Asked by Lord Boateng
Asked on: 20 March 2019
Department for International Development
Zimbabwe: Storms
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the impact of sanctions on Zimbabwe on the relief effort in response to Cyclone Idai.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 01 April 2019

The UK’s focus in responding to Cyclone Idai in Zimbabwe is on providing essential health supplies, hygiene kits and child protection support. We continue to monitor the situation closely and stand ready to provide further support as needed. The EU retains sanctions against former President Robert Mugabe, his wife Grace Mugabe, and the company Zimbabwe Defence Industries. We consider that sanctions have been an appropriate response to the political violence of the last 15 years. They do no damage to the wider economy or to the people of Zimbabwe and have no impact on the UK’s relief effort.

Asked on: 20 March 2019
Department for International Development
Southern Africa: Storms
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to provide urgent assistance to Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi following Cyclone Idai.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 01 April 2019

The UK is the largest donor to the Cyclone Idai response, having contributed up to £22 million - £4m of which has been used to match the UK public’s generous contributions to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s appeal. We have sent life-saving relief supplies: tents and thousands of shelter kits are being distributed to those who have lost everything. UK aid is supporting the World Food Programme to feed 400,000 people in Mozambique, and cash transfers for food purchases in Malawi. In Zimbabwe, we are providing essential health, hygiene and child protection support. We will continue to monitor the situation very closely, and the UK stands ready to provide further support if needed.

Q
Asked by Lord Boateng
Asked on: 21 March 2019
Department for International Development
Southern Africa: Storms
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai of the logistical needs of (1) Malawi, (2) Mozambique, and (3) Zimbabwe; and in respect of each, what has been their response.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 01 April 2019

Cyclone Idai has devastated parts of Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe. There have so far been over 700 fatalities and the UN estimates that up to 2.6m people may be affected. Mozambique has been the hardest-hit with almost 17,400 houses destroyed and up to 350,000 people at risk due to rising water levels. The UK Government is providing up to £22 million in support, including £4 million to match the UK public’s generous contributions to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s appeal. In Mozambique, UKaid is supporting the World Food Programme to feed 400,000 people and we have sent life-saving relief supplies including tents and thousands of shelter kits. In Malawi, we are helping 140,000 people to feed themselves and in Zimbabwe we are providing essential health supplies, hygiene kits and child protection support. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and stand ready to provide further support if needed.

Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
Asked on: 25 March 2019
Department for International Development
Zimbabwe: Storms
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in Zimbabwe on that country’s humanitarian needs as a result of Cyclone Idai.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 01 April 2019

The Secretary of State and I have both written to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in Zimbabwe expressing our condolences and offering our full support. The UK was amongst the first to respond and is the largest donor – allocating £22 million to the response across the three countries affected. While the impact of Cyclone Idai has not been as severe in Zimbabwe as in Mozambique, the situation remains serious and 4,500 people have been displaced. In Zimbabwe, UK aid is providing support for health, child protection, and water, sanitation, and hygiene in the worst-affected areas. DFID is also supporting the provision of emergency latrines and sanitation equipment. We continue to monitor the situation closely and stand ready to provide further support if needed.

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