HC Deb 29 April 1998 vol 311 c124W
Ms Drown

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the progress of the Commonwealth Debt Initiative laid out in his Mauritius speech in September 1997, indicating which countries have received, or are to receive, relief, the level of that relief and when it will be applied. [39669]

Mrs. Liddell

The Government have made considerable progress in securing international agreement to the Mauritius Mandate and will continue to press for its speedy and determined implementation.

To date, decisions have been made on the timing and level of relief to be granted under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative to six countries. Uganda has actually completed the process and bilateral creditors signed an agreement to give it 80% relief on its stock of debt on April 24 in Paris.

The table illustrates how much additional debt relief the countries that have had decision points under the HIPC initiative will receive after all other debt relief mechanisms have been applied (ie after a reduction in their stock of debt of 67% by Paris Club creditors), and when they are due to receive that relief (assuming that they stay on track with their current IMF programmes).

Country Completion point Amount of HIPC debt relief (USD million)
Bolivia September 1998 448
Burkina Faso April 2000 115
Cote d'Ivoire March 2001 345
Guyana December 1998 253
Mozambique Summer 1999 1,487
Uganda Completed April 1998 347

Ms Drown

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much is owed to the European Union by countries identified under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries initiative; and how much it has already agreed to write off. [39667]

Mrs. Liddell

The total exposure of the EU to the 20 countries that are presently thought likely to get debt relief under the HIPC initiative is about 5% of the total debt owed to all multilateral creditors by HIPCs. This amounts to approximately $1 billion.

The EU has agreed to put 40 million ECU of interest on European Development Fund assets towards financing the first part of the EU's component of HIPC debt relief to these countries.