HC Deb 09 May 2002 vol 385 cc339-40W
15. Dr. Naysmith

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress he has made in persuading other countries to follow his December 2000 pledge on debt cancellations. [53557]

Mr. Boateng

The UK Government continue to press other countries to follow the UK's example and to hold in trust any debt payment received from HIPC countries prior to decision point. However, among other considerations, legal constraints make this difficult for many countries. To date only Canada has introduced a similar policy.

22. Ms Drown

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how he will ensure that debt relief for developing countries(a) inside and (b) outside the HIPC initiative is accelerated to levels required to meet international development targets. [53564]

Mr. Boateng

The Government continue to press for rapid implementation of the HIPC debt relief initiative. At the IMF/World bank spring meetings we secured agreement that there needed to be a full review of HIPC for consideration at the annual meetings in October. This review will ensure that all countries in the HIPC initiative achieve sustainable levels of debt. Already countries are receiving debt relief worth $1.7 billion in 2001–02 which is being used to increase spending on education, health and other key poverty reducing areas.

The benefits of the HIPC initiative remain open to all poor countries that are heavily indebted. However it is clear that many poor countries that have only moderate levels of indebtedness none the less need additional finance if they are to achieve the millennium development goals. For this reason the Government have welcomed the recent commitments by the US and the EU to increase their aid effort by $12 billion per annum.

33. Alan Simpson

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average number of conditionality terms attached to agreements in the Debt Relief programme undertaken by the World Bank and IMF has been to date, broken down by country. [53575]

Mr. Boateng

Under the HIPC framework countries must demonstrate their commitment towards poverty reduction prior to qualifying for debt relief. They do this by developing a national poverty reduction strategy and following sound macroeconomic policy. Upon reaching decision point, countries start receiving interim relief and continue to develop their full poverty reduction strategy. Most countries will have implemented their poverty reduction strategy for a year prior to exiting the HIPC framework. The average number of conditions is 12 where 60 per cent. of the conditions are attached to poverty, including health and education, while 24 per cent. are on governance and financial transparency.

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