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Debt Relief -the Enhanced HIPC initiative
The 'Enhanced' program for the Heavily Indebted poor Countries (HIPC) agreed in 1997 at Cologne to cancel some $100bn of nominal debt stock from the 41 (now 42) poorest countries.
The $100B is really a headline figure, for political spin. It is not consistent with any other figures produced by the world Bank or IMF. Typically they show relief in NPV values. More importantly they usually define relief in terms of the conditions and formulae that will be applied and only actually publish a figure when it is fairly clearly calculated (i.e. not back of envelope at the G8 summit). So the only clear published figures on the breakdown are for those countries that have reached decision point -currently 22 of the 41 (now 42) HIPC countries (Many of the rest are 'conflict' countries and are not going to get relief at this stage).
ODA makes the numbers look bigger (better), but amounts to including long term (Bilateral) loans as 'Official Development Assistance' and then since they were always 'long term' cancelling them. But Japan still uses a form of tied aid, -Japan is by far the largest ODA creditor, and this wording is intended to allow Japan to continue using its system whereby debtor countries make payments on ODA debt, but these payments are returned to the country as tied aid to be used for the purchase of Japanese goods.
Jubilee Web Group - last updated 26 Januar 2003