British Embassy Press Release

It is disappointing that, amidst the debate on creating a free media environment in Zimbabwe, The Herald continues to peddle gross distortions and misinformation. Its front page article on 2 June Sanctions hit local British pensioners blames ima

– There are no United Kingdom or European Union economic sanctions against Zimbabwe.

– Current EU measures are carefully targeted against 243 individuals and organisations responsible for the worst excesses of the previous regime, in terms of human rights abuses, political violence, corruption, hate speech and undermining the rule of law.

– These measures have no adverse effect on ordinary people.

– The economic collapse of Zimbabwe and its infrastructure is the result of the ruinous policies of the previous regime.

The United Kingdoms Resettlement Scheme is not an airlift. It is a voluntary programme intended to help older and vulnerable British people who can no longer support themselves in Zimbabwe and who are unable to move to the UK without assistance. The suggestion that British policy is racially motivated is offensive and inaccurate. This year, the United Kingdom is running its largest ever aid programme to Zimbabwe, worth 49 million ($74 million). British funding has supported a comprehensive set of programmes for all Zimbabweans, including food aid and health. Our assistance has helped:

– avert widespread hunger through the provision of timely food aid;

– support over 2 million people to grow more food and improve their harvest yields;

– enable 1 million people get access to clean water and home based care for the chronically ill;

– assist 700,000 urban poor with food vouchers, shelter and access to education;

– treat people with HIV and reduce the rate of infection.

The United Kingdom is fully committed to helping the Inclusive Government implement the democratic and economic reforms essential to improve the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans. The Heralds obsession with bogus issues is not the road to the future.

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