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Relieving Unsustainable Debt

“We have learned that debt reduction for the most highly indebted poor countries is a crucial element in putting countries back on their feet, and that the funds released can be used effectively for poverty programs.” Speech, Implementing a Global Partnership for Poverty Reduction, Peking University, Beijing, China

James D. Wolfensohn

The Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative is the first international response to provide comprehensive debt relief to the world's poorest, most heavily indebted countries. Launched by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in 1996, the Initiative broke new ground by removing the debt overhang for countries pursuing economic and social reform targeted at measurable poverty reduction, reducing multilateral debt, and helping countries exit from endless debt restructuring. The initiative was enhanced in 1999 in order to provide deeper, broader and faster debt relief to participating countries. In addition, links between debt relief and poverty reduction efforts were strengthened so that resources freed by debt relief goes to where it is needed most.


Related Links

Highly Indebted Poor Countries

Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers

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