HC Deb 24 January 2002 vol 378 c984W
34. Roger Casale

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what further steps he is taking to reduce the foreign debt of the world's poorest countries and to eliminate global poverty. [27586]

Mr. Boateng

The UK continues to work hard to ensure that the Heavily Indebted Country (HIPC) initiative delivers a sustainable relief from debt for eligible countries. We also call on other countries to follow our leads on bilateral policies, such as 100 per cent. relief at Decision Point, and in holding payments in trust for those countries yet to receive debt relief. Already 24 countries have qualified for debt relief, and they will benefit from over $56 billion in debt reduction, which will bring their debts to below the average of developing countries.

The objective of the UK's development assistance programme is to help reduce global poverty. We recognise the need to increase the overall level of finance for development in order to achieve this and have been active in mobilising increased international resources. In his speech to the Federal Reserve bank on 16 November, the Chancellor proposed the creation of an international development trust fund and called upon donor nations to substantially increase their development assistance budgets.

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