HC Deb 20 January 2003 vol 398 cc54-5W
John Barrett

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the external debt is of(a) the Gambia, (b) Ethiopia, (c) Cameroon, (d) Chad, (e) Zambia, (f) Senegal, (g) Rwanda, (h) Niger, (i) Nicaragua, (j) Mali, (k) Malawi, (1) Madagascar, (m) Honduras, (n) Guyana, (o) Guinea-Bissau, (p) Guinea (q) Ghana, (r) Sao Tome and Principe and (s) Benin; and what the debt level was when each country reached its Decision Point under the HIPC initiative. [91174]

John Healey

Most of these countries reached Decision Point in the HIPC initiative in 2000, with the exception of Ethiopia and Chad (which reached Decision Point in 2001), and Ghana (which reached Decision Point in 2002). Under the HIPC initiative a country receives interim debt relief on payments due when it reaches Decision Point, and subsequently the debt is irrevocably cancelled at Completion Point.

To reach Decision Point and demonstrate their commitment to poverty reduction, a country must prepare an Interim-Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), to get to Completion Point they need to develop a full PRSP, and usually make progress in, implementing it for one year.

The UK always goes beyond HIPC terms and offers 100 per cent. debt relief, including 100 per cent. interim debt relief from Decision Point. The HIPC initiative has helped increase social expenditures in countries receiving HIPC debt relief by US$1.7 billion in 2001–02, equivalent to 1.2 per cent. of Gross Domestic Product. On average, health and education spending account for 65 per cent. of the resources freed by HIPC debt relief.

The most recent readily available data for external debt is for 2000 and is set out in the table:

Country Date reached DP External debt (US$, millions) 2000
The Gambia December 2000 471
Ethiopia November 2001 5,481
Cameroon October 2000 9,241
Chad May 2001 1,116
Zambia December 2000 5,730
Senegal January 2000 3,372
Rwanda December 2000 1,271
Niger December 2000 1,638
Nicaragua December 2000 7,019
Mali September 2000 2,956
Malawi December 2000 2,716
Madagascar December 2000 298
Honduras July 2000 707
Guyana November 2000 128
Guinea-Bissau December 2000 61
Guinea December 2000 177
Ghana February 2002 483
Sao Tome and Principe December 2000 30
Benin July 2000 192


World Bank, Global Development Finance, 2002

Back to