HC Deb 09 July 2002 vol 388 cc864-5W
Norman Lamb

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what consideration is given by(a) his Department and (b) the IMF to the recent human rights record of the country concerned during the consideration of providing assistance under the HIPC initiative. [68509]

John Healey

The UK continues to be at the forefront of the international debate on debt relief issues, and continues to press for the rapid and full implementation of the heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) initiative. One of the necessary conditions for countries to qualify for debt relief under HIPC is the formulation of a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). For low-income member countries, the IMF has placed PRSPs at the centre of its efforts. Pro-poor growth policies help to increase the amount of resources available that are required for the progressive realisation of human rights, including civil and political rights, and social justice. These strategies are designed in collaboration with civil society and the private sector and describe a country's macroeconomic, structural and social policies, setting out the policy action governments propose to take to reduce poverty. They provide a budgetary framework, not only for spending the savings from debt relief, but also for allocating other government revenue and support from the World bank. IMF and donor countries, hence enhancing transparency over fiscal expenditure. IMF programmes in HIPC countries pay particular attention to promoting pro-poor growth and improving governance.

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