HC Deb 21 March 2002 vol 382 c467W
Mrs. Irene Adams

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what action the Government are taking to persuade the World bank to change loans to heavily indebted poorer countries to grants. [43933]

Clare Short

We are firmly opposed to any suggestion that World bank highly concessional loans should be converted to grants. The International Development Association (IDA) of the World bank provides very concessional loans which are paid back over 40 years with a 10 year grace period and low service charge. Such loans are highly effective in helping countries to reduce poverty and are complemented by grant resources provided by other agencies. Any move to change IDA loans to grants would undermine the effectiveness of IDA and its future financi1al integrity.

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