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Starting in 2008, DFID will support a new regional programme on Access to Medicines in Southern Africa. The programme will spend £10 million over the first three years to deliver more affordable, quality medicines and diagnostics, including AIDS medication.

Voluntary Work

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department has allocated to the Platform2 programme; what conditions were attached to that funding; and what assessment he has made of how effectively that funding has been spent. [229643]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Department for International Development (DFID) has allocated £9,935,381 over three years (2008-11) to the Platform2 programme.

The main conditions attached to the funding are: a target to involve a minimum of 2,500 UK volunteers, aged between 18 and 25, and focusing on less advantaged young adults who do not normally have the opportunity to participate in such schemes; each volunteer's programme to include a visit to a developing country of between two to four months to participate in a development project, and an activity plan to raise awareness of development issues upon their return to the UK.

To date, DFID assesses that the money has been effectively spent. Since the launch in February 2008, 170 UK volunteers have completed (or are currently participating) in the programme in Ghana, South Africa, Peru, India and Nepal. Review visits to Ghana by our implementing partners have been very positive. Volunteers who have returned to the UK have developed concrete action plans to raise development awareness, including through media interviews, creating blogs and other online tools.

A mid-term review of this programme will be carried out in mid-2009.

Zimbabwe: Overseas Aid

Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what discussions he has had with (a) the World Bank, (b) the African Development Bank, (c) the International Monetary Fund and (d) the UN on a long-term economic assistance package for Zimbabwe; what conditions would be imposed by the Government on any such package; and if he will make a statement; [229354]

(2) what discussions he has had with (a) the World Bank, (b) the African Development Bank, (c) the International Monetary Fund and (d) the UN on an international donor conference for Zimbabwe; what conditions the Government would apply to the holding of such a conference; and if he will make a statement. [229355]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: In principle, the UK Government stand ready, as part of a wider international effort, to support Zimbabwe's economic recovery if a new administration shows a clear commitment to change and a willingness to tackle the root causes of economic, political and social decline. Macro-economic reform—including tackling hyperinflation—must be at the forefront
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of any reform efforts, as well as reviving the wider economy and supporting basic social and humanitarian needs. There is broad agreement among international donors on a core set of common sense global values which would signal such a change: these include an end to political violence, free and equal humanitarian access, commitment to democracy and to economic reform and respect for human rights. In order to succeed, recovery and development efforts must be led by a Government of Zimbabwe that are committed to reform. The timing and details of any donor conference must be decided by the new administration.

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This is the stance the UK Government and like-minded donors have presented in all recent discussions with international partners. The UK Government are engaged in a range of discussions on recovery with the major international financial institutions and other bilateral donors. Such meetings take place regularly in Harare and between donor capitals. Zimbabwe is also discussed at ad hoc international events: recent examples of which include the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly and the World Bank/IMF annual meetings in early October 2008.

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