*This paper is based on the first millennium Lecture/Seminar of the London
School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, delivered
on 19 January, 2000. The author, a Senior Visiting Fellow, School of Social
and Human Sciences, City University, UK, has been researching on
globalization and structural change and has acted as an Independent
Expert on Globalization and poverty for UNCTAD, United Nations
Conference on Trade and Development. He has been a Senior Economist
at the International Labour Office, Geneva, was nominated to serve on the
UN Human Rights Commission, and has taught in the UK, India and
Nigeria. His publications include Economic Progress and Prospects in the
Third World:Lessons of Development Experience Since 1945, Edward
Elgar [co-authored with Sir Hans Singer], Agriculture and Technology in
Developing Countries:India and Nigeria, Sage, and papers in the Economic
and Political Weekly and World Affairs. Comments to <>
Globalization is the major challenge in the new millennium with
profound implications for economic, political and socio-cultural change.
It is symbolized by compression of the world economy and a blurring of
national borders, driven by Information and Communication
Technology [ICT], and a marked shift of power from nation states to
non-state inter-governmental, non-governmental, and private forces.
Controversy surrounds the professed gains of globalization with intense
anxiety over the plight of developing, and in particular heavily indebted
nations, which may be marginalized.
Against the above backdrop debt relief [ 1] is a powerful tool in curbing
external debts and releasing resources to alleviate poverty and boost
growth.This, however, has to be sustained and bolstered by external and
domestic policies and a genuine commitment to reshaping
developed-developing country relationships: aid, foreign investment,
trade and fiscal, democratic and institutional reforms.
Analysis of debt relief and poverty has emphasised the technical, the
economic, or the socio-economic aspects, often driven by extremes of
narrow financial or moral and emotive concerns, without adequately
locating the roots and the socio-political motivations of relief strategies
and integrating them with complementary policies.
This paper is focussed on contributing towards a fuller understanding of
the relationship between debt relief and reduction of poverty in a
political economy and historical frame. It unfolds the role of state and
non state institutions in initiating, co-ordinating, and practicing bold
and innovative measures to reduce the debt burden and fulfil essential
human needs while inducing long term structural changes: mortality,
longetivity, elimination of old and new diseases [eg.HIV/Aids], literacy,
primary and secondary education, and social development, and
domestic-external economic conditions for growth. This theme is
explored through the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries [HIPC] Initiative,
under the umbrella of the World Bank and the IMF, and the major
creditor nations, to enable poor indebted, and often conflict ridden
developing, nations, primarily in Africa, with vulnerable social groups,
escape from unsustainable debt and improve livelihoods. The analysis
uncovers tensions in the creation, management, and execution of debt
relief , and its scope of making long term impact on poverty, in the
absence of a coherent and long term vision of a global world.
The strategy under the Initiative reveals [a] use of specific indicators
and [b] pursuit of debatable economic and social policies: firstly, the
ratios of Net Present Value, NPV, debts :exports, NPV of debts: fiscal
revenue, and revenue: GDP, and, secondly, structural adjustment and
social measures. Over a three year phase, culminating in a ‘decision
point’, a country has to establish that it has been pursuing economic
reforms and poverty reduction. If debts are still unsustainable a debt
relief package is devised but countries only receive their full entitlement
of relief once they have implemented a set of pre-determined structural
policies over a flexible time span. Deep seated concerns have emerged
over aspects of market based adjustment, often through slashing of
public expenditure and social programmes for the poor, to restore
economic balance. Changing formulations and frameworks of the
Initiative, underlined by ‘broader and faster’ debt relief, arouse
searching questions on its role in curbing poverty.
Globalization centres on compression of the world economy
undermining the sovereignty of the nation state and shifting power to
non state forces encompassing inter-governmental, non-governmental,
and private institutions which increasingly shape and steer policies. This
has far reaching implications for sustainable growth, conflict reduction
and human rights. In a historical setting it unfolds a new phase in the
restructuring of inter-nation/state relationships releasing new tensions,
anxieties and opportunities. This makes it critical to re-conceptualize
visions of material progress, peaceful coexistence, and human rights.
History has witnessed shifts and changes in diverse phases of
integration, disintegration and re-integration of inter and intra
nation/state links with measures to harness human energy and creativity,
curb tensions and usher in growth.Power relationships expose major
turbulence and frictions. This is mirrored in diverse historical epochs
arising from economic, military, political and cultural ties often
stemming from unequal bargaining encounters: trade, wars, colonialism,
and post colonialism.
Globalization marks continuity and change with the emergence of new
forms of inter-nation/state economic, political and cultural exchange,
based on the diffusion of Information and Communication Technology
[ICT], enabling instant communication over time and space beyond
human imagination.This is blurring national borders. Hence,
demarcation between states, national autonomy, and the scope of
control within borders need to be re-conceptualized. This provokes
critical questions on the nature of integration of nations with the
changing world economy while retaining control over domestic
policies. This is expected to sharply vary between states and arouses
anxiety about the plight of poor developing nations. This makes it
essential to grasp the roots of globalization and its policy impact so that
weak nations, and vulnerable groups, are not isolated and marginalized,
and, indeed, can share in its professed benefits.
Alas, poor nations are handicapped by their recent experience of debt
and confront obstacles in fulfilling the necessary pre-conditions for
globalization. Thus, debts impose a major burden on them with crippling
short and long term effects on economic management. Debts encapsulate
the culmination of dues stemming from inability to manage
domestic-external relationships. This can be traced to imbalances in the
latter and demands a fuller understanding of the underlying causes and
ways of restoring balance between the domestic and the world
economy. Debt relief should not be seen simply as a short term panacea
but as a strategy for revitalizing rights and obligations of debtors and
creditors. It should use the most efficient and equitable mechanisms to
build internal and external economic power with minimal
socio-economic disruption. Strategies to curb debts should mirror the
interests of debtors and creditors in the context of changing international
norms going beyond simple rhetorics. This should capture the values,
the measures, and the practices of agreements to pave the way for
sustainable development.
Mounting debts gave rise to a range of possible solutions: rescheduling,
debt for equity, and payment in local currency, culminating in debt relief
centred on interlinked bi-lateral and multilateral measures, supported by
creditors, debtors and governments, to reduce the external debt burden
of poor developing countries. Resources saved through debt relief were
to be used for basic needs, exemplified by health, education and social
welfare, under strict supervision by the creditors. This embodied,
compared with previous strategies, a more holistic vision of
development. The emphasis was on economic management which
recognized the limited prospects of debt repayment in the foreseeable
future by poor countries coupled with risks of reversing development
over the post independence phase and ensuring that future growth
prospects are not blocked. This was motivated by pressures to stimulate
globalization. Such laudable goals, however, cannot be divorced from
the unequal bargaining power of poor vis a vis rich countries and the
controversies over development thinking and practice.
Debt relief measures emerge against a backdrop of changing post
coldwar domestic -international economic and political relationships.
This unfolds a number of phases with nations having to adapt to the
changing world economy: the ‘golden age’ [1950's and 1960's], debt led
growth [1970's], and the ‘lost decade’ [1980's], and the ‘global age’
[1990's and beyond]. This is marked,first, by buoyant growth in the
world with rising commodity and manufactured exports prices; second,
a subsequent phase of increasing oil prices, surplus oil revenues [for
producers] and access to cheap loans to encourage borrowing fuelling
the accumulation of debts; third, a phase of inability to gain access to
cheap loans, rising interest rates, falling exports, declining levels of aid,
and mounting debts emerged with the imposition of harsh economic
measures to curb external debts; finally, a phase of liberalization and
globalization was unleashed to establish a more open, market based
world economy which developing nations were coaxed to join.
The link between the second and the third phase is primarily provided by
the rise in oil prices and oil incomes, with recycling of oil revenues
through the banking system, emanating from inability to absorb oil
revenues in the major oil producing countries [eg.Saudi Arabia, Kuwait,
Abu Dhabi], and growth being fed by access to cheap loans. It was
assumed that this would be sustained and that the loans would be repaid
with ease. However, the second oil price rise in the late 1970's was
followed by stringent monetary policies in developed nations to control
inflation with rising interest rates,and inability of developing nations
to gain access to the former cheap loans. This was compounded by
falling exports of developing nations. There was mounting pressure on
the latter in the 1980’s to make repayment of external debts a key policy
to establish balance of payments equilibrium. However, increasing
external debts coupled with incapacity to meet debt servicing
[ie.payment of principal and interest] obligations intensified economic
and social distress. This paved the way in the 1980’s for structural
adjustment policies initiated by the World Bank and the IMF.
The adjustment measures set out to correct the balance of payments
through curbing state expenditures, including pruning social spending,
and shifting to the market.This stemmed from belief in establishing
external and internal balance, and eventually reviving growth, with
positive impact on poverty. SAP's were based on neo-liberal
assumptions, in sharp contrast to interventionary Keynesian concepts,
with focus on the virtues of the market and liberalizing economies.
Major criticisms were levelled at the emphasis on debt repayment and
the inability of stimulating growth and resolving poverty.This emerged
against a backdrop of tensions between the Bretton Woods [BW]
institutions and the United Nations, and supporters and opponents of
both, over the virtues of SAP's, and the extent to which they constituted
viable development strategies. Neo-liberal approaches informed the BW
institutions while the UN was influenced by Keynesian concepts. The
latter challenged SAP’s and called for more intervention and closer
accommodation of growth and poverty reduction rather than simply
pursuit of balance of payments equilibrium. However, the criticisms to
which the early SAP's were subjected did impact on making them
relatively more flexible with gradual efforts to incorporate growth, and
more recently measures to alleviate poverty.This was encapsulated in
‘safety nets’ for the poor while strict adjustment was retained for the
goals of balance of payments equilibrium and growth. Such notions
were pursued through various policies exemplified by the Brady Plan,
to tackle debts: debt re-scheduling, debt for equity swaps, delaying
payment of interest, and payment of interest in local currency. Alas,
these had limited impact. At best the balance of payments of some
countries was restored for a time with some growth but without reducing
poverty and in some cases allegedly worsening the latter.
Controversies over SAP's exposed the deep seated economic, political,
and ideological divide between the BW institutions and other
international institutions; the former, of course, in which the developed
nations were dominant, had the clout to influence decisions about the
terms and conditions of making loans. In contrast, the UN institutions, in
which developing countries were numerically more powerful, lobbied
against the harshness of SAP's and the plight of poor indebted nations
and their most vulnerable groups. They were, however, ineffectual. This
mirrored weak financial and political power in international negotiations.
Regions which were not much affected by the ‘lost decade’ were firstly,
East Asia, which had good export led growth with a strong state
combined with market forces, and limited self imposed adjustment; and,
secondly, South Asia, with relatively ‘closed’ economies and limited
external debts.
The capacity to curb the debt burden and the simultaneous call for
liberalization and globalization of the national and the international
economy intensified the urgeny of radical interventions to tackle debts
and build the foundation for sustainable development. This shaped the
context of policies from the 1990's onwards with reassessment of debt
reduction measures. Debt relief emerged as a major instrument, though
not an adequate one, to pave the way for globalization. It has to be
placed in the realm of the political economy of domestic- external
policies: trade, finance, [portfolio loans], foreign direct investment, aid,
and relevant monetary, fiscal and sectoral measures.This, moreover,
emerges in the setting of post coldwar realignments in the aftermath of
the breakdown of ideological division between the ‘socialist’ and the
‘capitalist’ camps and its impact on developing nations; the former
collapsed and the latter survived championing the virtues of the market.
The political economy of the interplay of domestic -external policies
uncovers falling levels of aid, selective FDI, though increasing but
confined to specific countries and sectors, coupled with inadequacy of
capital inflows and, indeed, significant capital outflows. Even if such
policies were reversed it would take time for positive effects to emerge.
It should be emphasised that debt relief can provide immediate support
in meeting urgent needs of poor indebted countries and the most
deprived rural and urban groups. In the long run it could be invaluable
in enabling an exit not only from unsustainable debts but also from
unsustainable lives.Of course, complementary domestic and external
policies should accompany debt relief so that countries do not slide back
into debt and can pursue sustained growth. Poverty reduction, too, along
with adjustment and growth, is increasingly seen as a key ingredient of
an integrated ‘package’ to resolve economic and social ills.
Aid, though essential for development, is often tied to the donor
country's interests. Such flows can be used for debt servicing and also
for non -developmental purposes. eg. financing military ambitions.
However, nations often justify the latter in terms of a safeguard against
potential or actual threats to national security.
Public figures, politicians, community and religious leaders, have voiced
their anguish over the suffering of the poor stemming from external
debts and the havoc on their daily lives coupled with the long term
effects on social and political stability. This message is mirrored in the
statements and speeches of major third and first world leaders:former
President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, the late Tanzanian President
Julius Nyerere, and the Pope.
Debt relief captures an attempt to escape from unsustainable burden of
pressures to fulfil contractual obligations incurred in the past to repay
loans with interest often based on spurious dealings between specific
social groups and private and multilateral financiers, depriving poor
nations, and the most insecure, and politically weak, of basic rights.
Thus, unjust and unfair burdens call for drastic steps to escape from
unsustainable debts and restore faith in a meaningful, and balanced, life.
Simple debt relief implies charity. It ignores the deep seated causes of
debts and places the primary burden on the debtor. Hasty measures
emerge to repay debts siphoning off resources from essential human
needs. This inhibits and frustrates the scope of the poor to participate in
society. In contrast, refusal to repay debts mirrors defiance accusing the
creditor and sections of the national population who procured and used
the loans, often with the support of external creditors, for illegitimate
ends; this is supported by the experience of late President Mobuto of
Zaire who obtained loans for maintaining a luxurious life style and
a dictatorial regime while the poor were deprived of justice and essential
needs. The recent history of the oil crisis reveals that debts were
brought about by a mixture of economic and political forces. This
demands holistic and collective solutions.
The urgency to implement debt relief [2] in Africa and confront specific
forms of poverty, underscored by basic health and education, was
clearly the culmination of the severe limits of previous policies in
developing nations to curb external debts and its economic and social
consequences.The focus on the balance of payments and external debt
reduction have long term impact on development, and, hence, the
scope of fulfilling the dream of a global world. This needs to be seen in
the realm of debates on poverty: concepts, including definitions and
profiles shaped by economic, social and political power and the
vulnerability of specific social groups, identification and measurement,
domestic and external causes, and short and long term strategies,
including relevant growth and employment programmes, supported by
institutional, safety nets and human development measures, in relation to
the levels [individual, household, project, sector, country, and region].
This should be the frame of international, national and regional
institutions which aim to fulfil basic human needs by 2015: halving
global poverty, bringing about universal primary education, reducing
infant mortality by two thirds and maternal mortality by three quarters,
establishing universal access to reproducible health service, and
reversing current trends in the loss of environmental resourcs and
gender disparities in primary and secondary education.
International institutions, civil society, and nation states can steer this
process by devising policies to reduce debts and channel the resources
saved through debt relief to combat the most urgent needs and build
human capital: primary health, nutrition, and education. In this respect it
is essential to ensure that the major institutions do not usurp power and
that democratic governance is ushered in. .
Investment in physical capital stimulates growth of incomes. This can be
taxed or used for acquiring goods and services in the market. However,
the uncertainty of savings and investment finance, the long gestation
periods for growth to emerge and ‘trickle down’ to the poor, combined
with heavily skewed distribution of income in most indebted developing
nations, make it vital to boost the status of basic needs. This unfolds in
the context of the historical and the changing post coldwar political
Evolving a powerful conceptual tool for analysing the relationship
between debt relief and poverty reduction has been forcefully voiced by
members of civil society and regional institutions who profess to protect
the poor. The relationship is a complex one. But it has been recognized
that all stakeholders, debtors and creditors have a responsibility towards
making it a success. A number of issues need to be confronted.
The HIPC Initiative has to be seen in terms of its history, its critiques,
and its role in tackling poverty. The changing formulations,
frameworks, financing, practice, and modifications of the policy, since
its inception, in 1996, uncover the realism of its goals of providing
‘deeper, broader, and faster’ debt relief. This is underscored by its scope
of reshaping the lives of the poor in the most indebted and tension
ridden region,Africa, which faces a range of uncertainties on both the
external and the domestic front:[3] low levels of GNP growth rates,
inadequate export growth rates, declining terms of trade, falling aid
levels, barriers to trade, selective foreign investment, limited scope of
raising revenues through fiscal measures, and a weak agricultural
base.Analysis of the historical shifts in the Initiative and case studies of
recipient nations offer insights into the realism of such concepts..
The Initiative focussed on debt relief for multilateral and bi-lateral
debts [4]:approximately 37 per cent and 48 per cent of total external
debts of poor developing nations are primarily owed to multilateral and
bi-lateral bodies with about 15 per cent owed to private bodies
[eg.banks]; the Initiative aims to reduce debts of poor developing nations
by $ 100 billion out of total estimated external debts of $ 315 billion.
The core of the scheme rests on stringent economic conditions for the
assessment of nations which claim to confront unsustainable debts
requiring urgent debt relief to escape from economic and social havoc
based on the assessment of economic performance. This has to fulfil the
conditions of the creditors. External and domestic economic factors for
evaluation are outwardly objective and could be linked to the specific
situation in each country over time: the former incorporates dependence
on exports for national income [ exports: GDP], the intensity of debts,
embodied in NPV of debts: exports, and the latter is captured by the
revenue: GDP ratio and NPV of Debts: fixed revenue. In principle over a
three year phase culminating in a ‘decision point’, a country has to
establish that it has been pursuing economic reforms and poverty
reducing strategies and if debts are still unsustainable a debt relief
package is devised. However, as mentioned earlier. countries only gain
access to the full package of debt relief once they have implemented a set
of pre-determined structural reforms over a flexible period. This
approach, coined a ‘floating completion point,’ replacing the previous
fixed three year period under the original framework, sets out to speed
the pace of debt relief.
The scheme adopts a focus which puts the onus on the indebted
nation and is somewhat divorced from the historical forces giving rise to
the debt crisis, its underlying causes, and the relevance and the
controversy over structural adjustment measures. The recent
modifications to the scheme aim to counter criticisms of some of the
technical and financial conditions for granting relief. The fundamental
question is if it can be delivered more quickly to tackle urgent basic
needs without more drastic overhauling of the measure. This includes its
insistence on strict economic performance and the need to bolster relief
and encompass the role of related external and domestic policies. This is
being increasingly emphasised by intergovernmental and non
governmental institutions which form a powerful pressure group,
reiterating major human needs, and long term economic logic, to relax
the tight conditionalities of the scheme. Controversy permeates the role
of market based adjustment often requiring control of public
expenditure by pruning relatively low levels of social protection budgets
to establish internal and external economic balance. Some studies show
that SAP’s have negatively affected the position of the urban poor,
women and children with a marked adverse effect on basic needs in
Africa: literacy and education, the quality of care, health service
utilization, due to the imposition of user fees, search for alternative
sources of health care, and changes in mortality and morbidity and
nutritional status.[5]
The changing formulations imply efforts to incorporate the demands of
intergovernmental and non governmental institutions, as well as other
sections of civil society, to adopt a more sensitive formula related more
closely to the needs of different indebted developing nations and in
particular those which have to straddle a range of uncertainties and
disruptions. Dissatisfaction clouds the limited coverage of the HIPC
strategy, as well as its technical and financial instruments, embodied in
the choice of countries, the assumptions behind conditionalities and
the inclusion or exclusion of nations,and the criteria on which external
and domestic economic performance is judged. Considerable doubts
permeate the scope of reconciling structural adjustment with social
welfare measures.
The history of the Initiative [6] mirrors genuine, albeit debatable,ways of
injecting more flexibility. The actual formulations, however, reveal
pursuit of a belief in traditional SAP's, although increasingly, a focus on
social forces has been emerging to accommodate the criticisms of
inadequate emphasis on poverty reduction,coupled with a need for
greater transparency, and democracy, including accountability, in using
debt relief for specific poverty programmes. In spite of bold steps to
revamp the initial approach, the scheme is unable to separate relief and
poverty from adjustment. This should provoke the search for more
appropriate strategies.
The roots of the Initiative and its creation unfold inherent strengths
and limitations and the scope of making meaningful modifications.
Disillusionment with previous steps to reduce debts forced the rich
countries, and the powerful international institutions, coaxed by
intergovernmental and non governmental institutions, to advocate wider
developmental goals and link debt and poverty.
A meeting of Commonwealth Finance Ministers, followed by
subsequent discussions among the major leaders of the rich G 7 nations,
and the eventual acceptance by the BW institutions [the World Bank and
the IMF] of debt relief as a component of its policy, formed the key
historical stages. Subsequent modifications, put foreward by major
developed country leaders, impinged on modifying and refining the
instruments of debt relief to make the scheme more equitable and
accessible to a wider group of nations, and make explicit the connection
between debt relief and poverty reduction and monitor it within a
participatory and democratic frame. Shifts in the thinking and the
strategy of the Initiative have been accompanied by persuasive
arguments to bolster it through collective action to support domestic and
external policies. This aimed to ensure that countries did not slip back
into debt and that growth could be sustained by an urge to integrate
indebted nations into a globalizing world.
Campaigning by non governmental organizations, before, during and
after major summits, has had a major influence in re-thinking concepts
and policies under the Initiative.They have urged the G7 nations
to focus on the importance of debt relief and take concrete steps. Debt
relief under the scheme was undoubtedly motivated by official creditors
and supported by governments in the hope that it would pave the way for
sustainable development. The use of ICT [Information and
Communication Technology] was a major force in spreading the virtues
of increasing the pace of debt relief backed by societal, political and
religious leaders, including popular figures, to convey the adverse
impact of debts on the neglected, marginalized and weak social groups in
poor countries.
The history of the Initiative, based on meetings of world leaders, can be
First, the Trinidad Commonwealth Finance Ministers Conference in
1990 stressed that debt relief for governmental debts should be adopted
in the context of executing policies stupulated under IMF loans. This
was initiated by John Major the British Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Second, in 1992, at the Malta Commonwealth Finance Ministers
Conference, the idea of debt relief for multilateral loans was floated.This
was seen as the major source of debts for many developing countries.
Third, it was only in September 1996, that the IMF and the World Bank,
at the G7 Lyons Summit, adopted the idea of multilateral debt relief for
poor developing countries.
Fourth, the G7 Summit in Cologne in January 1999 marked a major
move towards placing poverty reduction at the core of an enhanced
HIPC frame. Chancellor Schroder of Germany put foreward a range of
modifications to the initial HIPC thrust to make it ‘deeper, broader and
faster.’ This was the theme to guide discussions, debates and policies on
future HIPC policies and laid the foundation for easing the
conditions/stipulations to guide the external and domestic behaviour and
criteria for defining ‘unsustainable’ debts, the terms of assessment.and
adopting a more flexible time span within which debt relief could be
given to eligible nations. It was emphasised that there should be a clear
and direct link between debt relief and poverty reduction encompassing
the key needs: health,education and social welfare.
However, the summit lacked adequate depth and breadth and was
confined to delivering fast relief. The financial capacity of poor countries
to meet debt obligations required deeper study.. Donors had to go
beyond the Cologne reforms. Poverty reduction was the main focus. The
link between debt relief and poverty was hailed as a laudable goal. A
stable macroeconomic framework and a state led poverty reduction
programme were critical. There was much concern about the nature of
adjustment programmes under the IMF’s Extended Structural
Adjustment Facility, ESAF, and its mixed effects. Successfully linking
debt relief and poverty demanded incorporating ESAF into a broader
and longer term strategy for human development with genuine national
control over macro economic policymaking. This required the reform of
ESAF to strengthen its focus on poverty reduction. Informed country
specific strategies could certainly offer insights into the use of resources
freed by debt relief encompassing monitoring and accountability of
social indicators and the capturing of benefits by the poor with an
enhanced role for civil society. Multilateral institutions were urged to
re-imagine the ways in which debtors and creditors could
co-operate in moulding and executing country level poverty reduction
programmes. Furthermore, international donors required guidance in
re-thinking aid policies to bolster such aims.
Fifth, in September 1999 the IMF-World Bank meeting in Washington
thrashed out the major dynamics of the Initiative. It set out to
accommodate the major concerns posed in Cologne with the thrust on
implementing the debt relief-poverty reduction paradigm. This
embraced a broadening of IMF’s ESAF to incorporate adjustment,
growth and poverty reduction and scrutiny of debt relief for
poverty;ESAF was re-named the Poverty Reduction and Growth
Facility.There was to be closer collaboration between governments,
debtor nations, and civil society. The IMF and the World Bank endorsed
the preparation and implementation of Poverty Reduction Strategy
Papers [PRSP] by borrower countries seeking to benefit from the
Initiative.The aim was to establish a firm link between debt relief and
poverty reduction by making the HIPC effort an integral component of
broader efforts to execute outcome-oriented poverty reduction strategies
using available resources.
The focus on poverty was to be devised by a government in conjunction
with other actors. Once the PRSP was approved by the World Bank and
the IMF it was to form the basis for the tripartite agreement between
these institutions and the government. The PRSP was to replace the
Policy Framework Paper as the document which would establish the
policy directions and resource allocation frameworks for IMF and Bank
lending for concessional assistance. It was to cover a three year time
Finally, at the recent G8 summit in Japan [July 2000] the G 7 leaders
continued to debate the strengths and deficiencies of the Initiative.
The core of this rested on accepting the urgency of matching the
rhetorics with the policies.
The focus on PRSP, in particular, poses searching questions. This
emphasised participation by international agencies, national
governments, and civil society in defining, planning and implementing
poverty reduction strategies informed by principles of accountability,
transparency, legitimacy, and governance. However, these have been
devised under World Bank-IMF conditionalities including stringent
structural adjustment policies. This should be seen against a background
of ongoing studies, encapsulated by the Meltzer Report, initiated by the
US government, to reform the Bretton Woods institutions with
intensification of such thrusts. Of course, the PRSP, and its notions of
wider participation, should not be de-linked from mounting inter and
intra state strife, exemplified by civil wars, rooted in historical,ethnic,
religious, and social tensions, which confront the lives of most
Africans. Such harsh realities thwart and disrupt well meaning notions
of embracing the ‘voices of the poor’and the fruition of
programmes.Hence, PRSP should be accompanied, and integrated,with
measures to infuse peaceful diplomacy, peace making and peace
At the summit the G 7 leaders recognized that it was essential to speed
up the delivery of debt relief.7Thus, only 10 per cent of the total
promised debt relief of $100 billion, originally pledged by the G7 leaders
at Cologne in 1999, has been granted with only 9 countries in line to
receive such relief. However, it was the hope that by the close of 2000
another 12 countries would reach the Decision Point. But the G 7 leaders
firmly reiterated the stringent macro economic conditions to become
eligible for debt relief. Emphasis was placed on the need for indebted
countries to pursue Poverty Reduction Strategies, linking debt relief to
economic reforms and poverty reduction, in co-operation with the World
Bank and the IMF , underpinned by participation of civil society.
Indebted countries were also urged to reduce conflict which plagued
many. thwarting the pursuit of poverty reduction. Of course, some
developing nations may attach equal or more importance to national
sovereignty exemplified by security and military measures to protect
itself:for instance the nature of recent pronouncements of leaders of
Ethiopia in its war against Eriteria illustrate such a stance.
The need to reinforce poverty reduction through aid based on grants to
indebted countries was heavily reinforced by the G 7 leaders. The
summit also posed the urgency of controlling the spread of infectious
diseases including HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and TB. Adoption of
Information Technology in developing countries was highlighted by the
leaders to be critical in accelerating the integration of developing
countries into the world economy. However, the relationship between
debt relief, control of infectious diseases, and IT and its impact on
globalization was not coherent. These concerns were reinforced at the
Annual IMF-World Bank conference in Prague in September 2000 -
faster debt relief to a wider group of nations with concrete poverty
reduction policies against a background of street demonstrations which
criticised the ideological values espoused by these institutions.
In terms of multilateral debts, the share of the World Bank in the total
increased from 47 % in 1985 to 55% in 1996; over the same period the
share of its ‘soft lending’ agency, the IDA, increased from 26% to 46%
while that of its ‘hard lending’ agency fell from 20% to 9%; the share
of the three main regional banks [African, Asian and Latin American]
nearly doubled to 21%.Towards the close of 1995 among the key sources
of concessional multilateral lending the IDA emerged as the major one
with 58% of such debts , the three main regional banks accounting for
22%, and the IMF for 7% , while the remainder was shared by European
sources. The conditions of the World Bank loans -maturity and grace
periods- are dependent on the economic situation of recipient
countries:World Bank nonconcessional loans are for 10-30 years and
concessional loans over 40-50 years while IMF concessional loans are
for over 5 and a half years to 10 years, and non-concessional EU loans
are for approximately 5 years.
Bilateral debts, owed to governments, comprise export credit, grants and
tied and untied aid, the first often comprising 40-50 per cent to
stimulate developed country exports. Forgiveness of bi-lateral debts is an
important ingredient of the Initiative although outright cancelling of all
debts has been ruled out by the creditors- this is based on the need for
conditionalities which alone can ensure that economic reforms will be
pursued and that the nations under the HIPC can have access to loans in
the future. However, forgiveness of up to 90% and more where needed
for eligible debt by the Paris Club, and for countries not qualifying under
the Initiative, a unified 67% NPV reduction under the Naples terms, and
for non concessional rescheduling, have been put foreward. Hence, the
participation of governments under the Initiative can reinforce the
efforts of the multilaterals.
The experience of the UK and the USA indicates the nature of the
response of major governments in tackling bi-lateral debt relief.
The UK government took the decision to cancel bilateral debts for the
countries under the HIPC amounting to £ 5 billion including the debts
owed to the government's Export Credit Guarantee Department [ECGD].
This has been based on wanting to set an example which can be
emulated by other donors. It is closely linked to the scheme as it is firmly
asserted that the conditions of debt relief under the latter are sufficient to
guarantee that resources freed will be spent on social programmes and
to curb poverty.The critical link between debt relief and poverty was
stressed-a theme constantly emphasised by the Initiative. An opportunity
was taken to highlight the lead being taken by UK to lead international
efforts to reduce the debt burden of the poorest nations and to ensure
that ‘money saved will be spent on health and education services for
some of the poorest people in the world.’ Sharing the public
announcement about the UK government's plans with various sections of
civil society illustrates the enthusiasm with which efforts are being
made to embrace participatory principles. Plans to grant immediate debt
relief to three African countries are to be followed by relief to another
ten by April 2000, and about 25 nations by the end of 2000.
The steps taken by the UK government created the right mood.It
should, however, be recognized that about 40% of the bi-lateral debts
were owed to the ECGD-- loans through the latter were aimed to
subsidize the exporters of British goods as well as to support purchase
by buyers in developing countries and hence the mutual interest of
creditor and debtor was taken into account.
The US government has been making similar moves to grant debt relief
to countries under the scheme and other nations in a similar condition.
This should be seen against a backdrop of African bilateral debts to the
US: out of Total Debts of US $ 240, 632 Owed to Foreign Creditors
[1997] about US $ 8568 , or about 3.56 % of the total, was owed to the
US [1997] [Table 5]. Of course, this varied among the African countries.
A number of bills to usher in debt relief have tried to evolve a typology
of potential recipients countries: on the basis of their need for debt relief,
their economic, political and democratic record, and a range of
conditionalities, including the need to minimize expenditure on the
military, the exclusion of terrorist nations, and those which violate
human rights, while favouring measures which genuinely pursued
poverty reduction [health, education and social welfare] coupled with the
promotion of civilian control of the military, promotion of law and
equitable and democracy. This has been embodied in diverse bills which
mirror the attempt to establish a more comprehensive coverage of
sustainable development, conflict and human rights issues:the Jackson
Bill, the Waters Bill, the Campbell Bill, the Mack Bill, the Leach-LaFake
Bill, the Mckinney Bill, the Saxton-Kucinich Bill, and the Feingold Bill.
The conditionalities mirror a wider vision of ‘conditionality’ and may
offer insights for those shaping future debt relief programmes.
Case studies reveal the ways in which the major principle of interlinking
debt relief to poverty reduction by the Initiative are applied in the
selection, assessment, and monitoring of specific countries and provide
useful insights into the nature of the concerns which need to be
addressed in devising future programmes. Such countries would also be
eligible for bi-lateral debt relief. The formalities are subject to change
and will vary among the countries but some useful insights emerge from
the experiences discussed.[7]
The studies unfold the experience of countries granted debt relief or
scheduled to receive it in the near future and pose sensitive questions on
the terms and conditions on which debt relief is released, including
economic performance, the nature of the conditionalities and their
fulfilment, the use of debt relief for specific poverty programmes, and
the monitoring of debt relief to ensure that the goals of the latter are
met:embodied in transparency, accountability, and democratic
participation. Consistency in meeting these laudable aims is intrinsically
related to the recipient country's specific past and future
domestic-external political economy. Changes in the latter during
implementation of the Initiative may be beyond the control of individual
countries. This could have adverse implications for the expected
outcomes of the scheme.
The net impact on the countries is embodied in the % reduction in debt
resulting from debt relief granted or scheduled to be shortly granted.
This is being constantly revised. For instance, up to recently sharp
variations emerge: 57% for Mozambique, 25% for Guyana, 20% for
Uganda, 14% for Burkina Faso, and 10% for Mali.
Uganda’s experience may offer insights into modes of implementing
debt relief; it was the first country to be granted such relief against a
backdrop of relatively strong growth [ 6 % per annum over the previous
6 years] with debt relief expected to make marked reductions in external
debts [20 %] supported by various forms of assistance by the World
Bank, under the Initiative, the management of budget savings from debt
relief through defined poverty programmes [ Poverty Action Plans], and
measures to have a firm grip on accountability supported by independent
audits, civil society, and Parliamentary scrutiny.
First, Uganda's good economic performance enabled it to regain its
former export stronghold and revive other exports [ coffee and tea],
develop infrastructure [ national road grid], and social infrastructure
exemplified by the launch of programmes of universal primary education
with doubling of enrolments.
Second, debt relief aimed to deepen the gains of previous economic
management; $ 650 million in debt relief was to be given from external
creditors under the Initiative which discounted to today's values was US
$ 350 million. This aimed to reduce Uganda's external debts by 20 %.
Thirdly, the forms of assistance under the Initiative included provision of
assistance in three ways: [a] an IDA grant in support of primary
education [equivalent to US $ 24 million in debt savings in today's
values]; [b] purchase and cancellation of of an HIPC Trust Fund of
outstanding IDA credits [US $ 205 million equivalent to US $ 84 million
in today's values]; [c] saving of IDA credits over 5 years through
earmarking of HIPC Trust Fund resources for this purpose [US $ 10
million equivalent to US $ 52 million in todays' values].
Fourthly, the management of the budget shows specific targeting of
budget savings from debt towards poverty alleviation embodied in the
national Poverty Action Plans. This embraced consultation and broad
national consensus over 2 years through a range of sectors: feeder roads,
agriculture, water supply, primary health and primary education. Indeed,
transfers to the latter was expected to finance universal primary school
enrolment to 5.3 million children since 1997.
Finally, the critical issue of transparency and accountability unfolds
measures to ensure that debt savings were used for specific poverty
programmes. This included reporting all financial flows on a quarterly
basis, an independent audit every year, and the incorporation of civil
society participation through NGO's, such as the Uganda Debt Network,
reinforced by Parliamentary scrutiny of new lending and ensuring that it
conformed with National Development priorities.
Uganda's case illustrates the attempt to establish a programme which
integrated identification, assessment, management and accountability to
maximize the impact of debt relief. Actual performance over time can
confirm the extent to which this vision will be realized.
In contrast, Mozambique, unfolds the case of a post conflict ridden
HIPC whose economic and social infrastructure has been severely
damaged by war with an urgent need for re-creating the basic economic
foundations to meet essential needs. Hence, the capacity of such a
country to fulfill the terms and conditions of the scheme pose a major
challenge. It is one of the world's poorest countries with 70% in
poverty.Debt relief aimed to reinforce the social benefits of ‘good
government management’ through the pursuit of economic stabilization
and structural reforms. Mozambique's performance aroused confidence
among the management. This was based on its rate of growth [8 % over
the previous 5 years], ‘impressive’ results of privatization, coupled with
an expansion by the government of health, education, and water services,
and roads; thus, primary school enrolment increased from 62% to 71%
over 1996-98, the coverage of key vaccinations rose from 56% to 77%
over the same period, and the number of primary classrooms, including
in the rural areas, increased by more than 60% over 1992-98. Alas,
recent flooding devasted the economy cancelling out previous gains.
Against this backdrop debt relief operations were the largest organized
by the international community under the scheme. Thus, the IDA and the
IMF agreed that Mozambique met requirements for receiving US $ 3.7
billion in debt relief from its external creditors under the HIPC effort
equivalent to US $ 1.7 billion in today's values. The relief granted by
these bodies set out to ensure that Mozambique reached the agreed debt
sustainability target and relief granted in the frame the country's record
of economic and social reforms. The IDA was to provide debt service
relief through purchase and cancellation and the IMF under the Initiative
would make a grant deposit to cover debt service falling to it. The goal
was to reduce Mozambiques's external public debt by about 68% from
about $ 2.7 billion to US $ 1 billion in today's values on top of debt relief
under traditional mechanisms. External Debt Service obligations were
expected to fall to an annual average of US $ 73 million in 1999-2005
compared to an average of US $ 169 million [due in the absence of the
Initiative and US $ 104 million actually paid in 1998]; by 2001 debt
service due was expected to fall to 8% of exports and 10% of
government revenues compared with 19% of exports and 23 % of
revenues actually paid in 1998. The government of Mozambique planned
to increase annual current spending on health and education from about
US $ 120 million in 1998 to US $ 175 million by 2001.
In spite of the considerable focus on Mozambique's debt relief problem
criticisms have been voiced on the extent to which debt relief would be
adequate to fulfil the delivery of essential needs such as a basic health
package. For instance, the Vice Minister of Planning and Finance, had in
the past [1996] that the Initiative would provide $ 15-$20 million a year
while the cost of delivering such a health package was $ 173 million a
The Initiative is a step in the right direction but it needs to take into
account unexpected major disruptions which can throw a country into
chaos. Thus, the recent flooding in the country left half a million
homeless, the threat of epidemics caused by water born diseases, and the
destruction of thousands of acres of farmland, has reinforced the urgency
of debt relief schemes. The UK government decided to stop the
collection of its debt repayments emanating from growing concern
among parliamentarians and the general public about the morality of
collecting debt while the country was devastated by floods. It should be
stated that the UK is owed just $ 150 million by Mozambique out of a
total debt of over $ 5 billion and hence without further action by other
creditors including the World Bank and the IMF the debt burden will
seriously hamper the country’s reconstruction and long term
development. This illustrates the vulnerable nature of the economy and
the relapse of the country into the situation existing before the disaster.
Ivory Coast exemplifies the case of a country which had been exposed to
structural adjustment progranmes and was therefore complying with the
stipulated policy framework of the multilateral donors. Thus, it had
adopted IMF ESAF programmes to achieve a range of economic and
social obligations: [a] fiscal consolidation [b] deepening structural
adjustment reforms- promoting private sector development, FDI and
portfolio and [c] ambitious social development -poverty reduction and
well targeted and efficient public spending on education and health. Debt
relief and the allocation criteria included NPV of Debt: exports below
200% so that NPV Debt: fiscal revenues= 280% at Completion Point and
there was consistency with fiscal/openness criteria. The World Bank and
the IMF agreed to support debt reduction packages: total assistance by
its external creditors would aim to reduce the country's external debts by
US $ 345 million in NPV terms estimated to translate into debt service
relief close to US $ 800 million. The mechanisms to deliver this was
such that first, HIPC debt relief was to support wide ranging economic
and structural reforms- to keep it on the path of sustained growth,
financial stability, reducing poverty and improving living standards;
secondly, the World Bank was to provide its contribution in the form of
IDA Grants as opposed to nominal credits [USA $ 314 million tied to
specific adjustment operations through the Completion Point as part of
its lending programme to Ivory Coast over the next 3 years; thirdly, the
IMF would provide assistance at the Completion Point through a grant to
be used to pay debt service falling due to IMF- debt relief. The
Initiative aimed to free budgetary resources to enable increased
expenditure on primary health and education, rural development, and
poverty activities.
Changing domestic socio-political conditions in Ivory Coast may
impinge on the scheme and the thinking of its multilateral supporters.
The peaceful military coup in the country in December 1999 deposed
the former ‘democratically elected’ president on the grounds that in fact
the government was corrupt, and undemocratic, exemplified by the arrest
and detention of opposition leaders who challenged the government's
policies. It was, moreover, alleged that aid money had been diverted
towards non-developmental purposes.This suggests a less than
enthusiastic response to the latter including adjustment based schemes.
The coup shocked Africa watchers as Ivory Coast was considered to be
one of the most ‘stable’ political regimes in the region but the popularity
of the coup suggests that there was much truth in the problems identified
by the coup leaders who aimed to hold a genuinely democratic election
in October 2000 in which the deposed President would be allowed to
participate. Recent events in Ivory Coast, however, stemming from
attempts to assassinate General Robert Guei, and the disenchantment
with the economy since the coup, coupled with measures to disqualify
political parties from contesting the planned elections, the attempt by
Guei to declare himself the winner, and the turmoil during and after the
election, pose critical questions on the future of the nation.This
experience suggests that HIPC strategies need to make a more critical
review of the socio-political conditions in a country including its claims
of pursuing democratic values, and its relationship to past and future
economic programmes. Thus, debt relief is embedded in economic and
socio-political struggles.
Debt relief can be used as a major instrument for poverty reduction by
confronting urgent needs. This is exemplified by the critical health
sector [8] to minimize old and new diseases.
The linkage between globalization, sustainable development, and health
policy can be symbolized by universal health concerns exemplified by
global health pacts [Health For All] and the ways in which this can be
shaped and steered by state and non-state forces. There are sharp
differences in the capacity of different regions, countries,
socio-economic groups to integrate into the changing world economy
and usher in human needs [health, nutrition and education] in the context
of the political economy of domestic-external policies. Health policy
impinges on growth, efficiency, and equity. Thus, investment in physical
capital leads to growth and increases in income. This can be taxed to
increase health expenditure and/or used by employees for purchasing
health products and services in the market. Debates persist on the
relationship between economic growth, health and poverty- but poverty
reduction remains a major instrument of health improvement. The
uncertainty of investment funds, the time span for growth to materialize
and its ‘trickling down’ to the poor, combined with a skewed
distribution of income, make it essential for the state to play a major role
in boosting Health Status. This is symbolized by Health Indicators:
longetivity, infant mortality,maternal mortality, levels of nutrition. The
health status of women and infants remains unacceptable and poverty,
malnutrition, and ill health are increasing for such groups. Improving
health status can increase human capital and hence growth. Good health
care can raise productivity with a more healthy work force and build
strong children and hence their absorptive capacity.
The Health Status indicators of the Initiative mirror that,though most
have improved their performance since independence,the levels are still
low compared with developed countries.There is also risk of this being
lowered under conditions of economic crisis, poverty and debt. Hence,
debt relief could be a major force in maintaining and lifting the levels of
Health Status. Indeed, debt relief by making resources immediately
available could be directly used for resolving both neglected, and urgent,
health problems: in indebted African nations the former is exemplified
by malaria and the latter by the spread of HIV/AIDS. This demands a
fuller grasp of health policy to ensure that Health Status indicators can
be improved in an efficient and equitable manner in the shortest time
The main ingredients of health policy rest on the prevention and
eradication of different forms of old and new diseases and the
formulation, including financing, and targeting, and the practice of
delivery systems, encompassing the public, the private, including
domestic and foreign investors, including pharmaceutical companies,
and non-governmental organizations, combined with 'traditional' health
systems [eg. holistic Indian Auyvedic herbal treatment]. Thus,:
First, diseases include old and new contagious, non-contagious, tropical,
and vaccinable ones: major old diseases include malaria, TB, and polio,
the latter being vaccinable, and the main new threat is from HIV/AIDS,
for which a vaccine has yet to be developed but interventions to prevent
infections need to be implemented. ICT, Information and
Communication Technology, can also advance the diagnosis and
resolution of diseases.Malnutrition weakens the immune system and the
capacity to resist and combat diseases. Measures to improve the
nutritional status such as through food security can alleviate such
problems: the access to vitamin A, for instance, which is vital and
missing in the diets of poor people and especially children, can be made
available through a new variety of rice.
Second, it is essential to evolve relevant policies which can be targeted
towards poor and vulnerable socio-economic groups who possess limited
assets and political clout. These can be defined as the landless, the small
tenants, the small peasants, and urban ‘underclass’ children, the old, the
infirm, and the sick, especially in heavily indebted , conflict ridden, and
unstable political systems.
Third, delivery systems may need to be combined: public, private and
non governmental. The state in most countries has limited resources and
finance and has to pursue stringent budgetary policies, including pruning
essential social expenditures, to conform with SAP's and increasingly
therefore has to resort to the private sector, and NGO's and civil society,
including the church and other religious groups. The private sector is
being cautiously incorporated under such pressures, and while they may
play a supporting role, their primary motive is recouping their returns
and profits, and not philanthropy. Pharmaceutical companies, for
instance, are being harnessed by the state to fulfil immediate and longer
term aims of research and provision of essential drugs, and the rise in
mergers [eg.Beechams and Glaxo] may offer new opportunities to
reinforce such a strategy. However, given the nature of the wider
economic and social demands, the state has to be in overall control
including ensuring that major health problems are directly tackled. Thus,
the state should retain overall policy direction,and formulate the rules
and procedures, to ensure that health delivery systems conform to the
overall goals of lifting Health Status.
In this context, the identification of diseases, their economic and social
effects, health policy, and the role of debt relief, is illustrated by one
major new contagious disease- HIV/AIDS.
About 33 million people in the world are infected with HIV/AIDS and
about 24 million are in Africa and the numbers are sharply rising..
Indeed, 18.8 million in the world , with the majority in Africa, have died
of aids.In this context, the ‘Durban Declaration’ emanating from the
13th International Conference on Aids in Durban, South Africa,
captures the serious economic and socio-economic effects of the disease
and the urgency of finding a solution. Analysts believe that unless the
problem is forcefully tackled it is likely that over the next ten to twenty
years there will be unimaginable suffering in Africa with an estimated
fall by a third in GDP, a reduction in longetivity by 20 years,and undoing
of previous gains in health, education and development.
Many HIPC in Africa confront HIV/AIDS-exemplified by Uganda and
sub-regions such as Southern Africa; it is reported, for instance,
by the HIV/AIDS Research Division of the University of Natal that in
large provincial hospitals of South Africa up to 50% of the beds are
occupied by those with Aids. In this context, many African nations are
spending more than 40% of their export earnings on debt repayment;
Zimbabwe is paying 25% of its export earnings to service debt while an
estimated 26% of its population is infected with HIV/AIDS; Uganda
with a 1.7 million Aids orphans is spending about the same amount on
debt while Tanzania is spending nine times on debt repayments as on
health care and four times that on education.
The previously rising trends in such indicators have been overtaken by
pessimistic expectations about the affects of HIV/AIDS. The human
costs of Aids are frightening. Annual AIDS related fatalities hit a
record 2.6 million last year. The most devasting impact of AIDS has
been in Africa: 85% of all AIDS deaths have taken place in at least five
African countries, over 20 % of adults are HIV positive, and the highest
rates of new infections are often among young women who will soon
become mothers. Moreover, thousands who are HIV positive actually die
of other major contagious diseases, exemplified by TB, which in turn can
spread to people who are not HIV positive. Other contagious diseases
including TB, malaria, diarrhea and respiratory diseases are posing major
threats killing almost 6 million people each year. The social and
economic impact of the public health crisis is leading to a sharp decline
in life expectancy in many Africa countries reversing previous gains.
Countries have lost 10-20 years of life expectancy due to HIV/AIDS
reversing years of investment in human capital. In southern Africa, for
instance, it is expected to drop from a high 59 in the early 1990’s to 45
within the next 5-10 years- a level not seen since the 1950’s. Indeed, life
expectancy is falling mainly because of rising mortality among prime age
adults. A larger share of working age adults in a population leads to
faster economic growth and hence the loss of the most productive
members of society has disproportionate economic consequences.
Health care budgets are overwhelmed by the heavy burden of caring for
those infected with negative effects on those who are already
impoverished; they are being forced to sell their assets and defer
expenses for essentials like education to pay for costly medical care
worsening their poverty while the death of both parents, which emerges
when AIDS strikes the family, has led to a sharp increase in the number
of orphans-over 11 million in the world with all but one half million in
Africa. Young women are specially vulnerable.They may find it difficult
to cope and once infected face abandonment. In this context the Initiative
provides a powerful and effective mechanism for increasing the
resources available to the poorest countries and using them for urgent
needs such as combating HIV/AIDS.
The PRSP, prepared by countries under the Initiative, should incorporate
analysis of the adequacy of budget resources and policy reforms
allocated to basic health care. Aggregate social and health care statistics
for the latter do not reveal regional variations and inter country
differences in HIV/AIDS. For instance, it is estimated that in southern
Africa the majority of Aids are in the 20-49 age group: the lowest rates
are in the 5-14 age range; the 0-4 group shows significantly higher
numbers of infection, an indication that infants are being infected either
in the womb before birth or while being taken care of by infected
mothers while women seem to be exposed to the disease earlier than
men. HIV/AIDS can deprive the labour market of valuable inputs while
orphaned children of parents whose death was caused by it suffer
economic and social hardship and poverty.The problem can be
compounded by those with the disease giving birth to children who too
carry the disease. However, the priority to this disease may vary between
nations in relation to other immediate and long term health and poverty
related concerns.
The plight of those confronting HIV/AIDS is captured at the household
level: illustrated by findings in Ivory Coast, Uganda, and Tanzania.
UNAIDS studies reveal that in the urban areas of Ivory Coast families
with a member sick from Aids cut in half spending on their children’s
education and reduced food consumption by about 40% as they had to
cover health expenditures which soared to four times the usual level.
Studies in Abidjan, the largest city of the Ivory Coast, Uganda’s Rakai
district, and Tanzania’s Ziwa Magharibi region, show that families cope
with these losses largely with cash and kind transfers from other
families-reflecting a support infrastructure and the interdependence of
African society. Relatives take in many of the orphan children and so the
cost of their care is largely unregistered on government balance sheets
but urbanization and migration of labour are undercutting extended
family structures that have shouldered childcare. Orphans suffer several
disadvantages when they are cared by relatives including not eating as
well as other children and are not given the same opportunities to go to
In summary to maximize the use of resources released by debt relief for
improving Health Status it is imperative that health policy should
encapsulate the following:
i. failure to provide services which have the greatest impact on the major
concerns of illness and malaria, respiratory diseases, diarrhea,
childhood diseases [eg.polio], parasitic diseases; new diseases such as
HIV/AIDS have been the main cause of adult deaths in Africa in 1995
and it should be recognized that about 68% of those infected with this
disease, about 21 million, are in Africa.These should be supported by
measures to reduce malnutrition
ii. health care is the least resourced and of the poorest quality at the
village level: private trade going to urban hospitals based curative care
motivated by profits concentrating on middle and upper middle classes
who can pay.
iii. inefficiency in the provision of health services: allocative and
technical [ie.failure to combine inputs to provide health intervention at a
low cost].
iv. poorly trained staff at the primary health care level.
v. need for combination of traditional health systems with the modern
Criticisms of the scheme emerged at various stages of its evolution.
These impinged on a cumbersome process of assessing revenues,
appraisal, agreements, and limits of the Initiative unfold a key
observation- that it basically aimed to cancel nominal debts of $ 100,000
which could not be repaid by the debtor nations-not being serviced
[ie.paid]. Moreover, no new resources were to be made available for
poverty reduction.Hence, cancelling what poor countries cannot repay
can be seen as an accounting transaction and was not a substitute. In
spite of all the debates and discussions backed by the desire to help 41
countries to exit from unsustainable debts and confront poverty, only a
handful of countries have so far been given debt relief. Against this
backdrop discussions on cancelling debts, leaving aside its long term
implications for procuring new credit, may remain a pipedream.
The roots of the debt crisis and its manifestations through the 1980's
suggest the need for collective action beyond simply restoring balance of
payments equilibrium. This requires ushering in fundamental domestic
and external reforms. Linking debt relief to poverty reduction is only an
initial stage which has to be widened and supported by complementary
policies. HIPC policies cannot be divorced from the unbalanced and
unequal power relationships between developed and developing nations
and the world economy and the ideological differences between
international institutions. This impinges on the weak bargaining power
of developing nations and their representation in these institutions,
exemplified by the UN, which campaign on their behalf but lack
financial and political clout. Hence, the prevalence of unbalanced
creditor-debtor relationships suggests that it may be difficult to establish
equitable agreements on debt relief. Compliance with norms,such as
SAP, needs to be re-worked, with participation by inter-governmental
and non governmental institutions and other civil society groups on
equal terms in negotiating transactions, devising interventions and
monitoring future HIPC programmes.
The stages of assessment unfold a number of formalities in establishing
inclusion or exclusion of countries in the process of granting debt relief:
reviews, appraisal, agreements, allocating debt relief, preliminary
reviews [ie.countries being considered], and ineligibility. This highlights
the intricate and painstaking steps to select the most relevant ones, and
the final delivery of relief. This is underpinned by the intensity of
problems stemming from the unsustainability of debts, the inability to
resolve them through conventional measures, and the pursuit of
adjustment based policies devised by multilateral agencies. The net
impact on the countries is embodied in the % reduction in debts asa
result of debt relief. This shows sharp variations..
The case studies of countries granted debt relief or scheduled to receive
it in the near future pose sensitive questions on the terms and conditions
on which relief is given, including economic performance, the nature of
the conditionalities and their fulfilment, the use of relief for specific
poverty programmes, and monitoring to ensure that the goals of the
latter are met:embodied in transparency, accountability, and democratic
participation. Consistency in meeting such laudable goals is intrinsically
linked to the recipient country's specific past and future
domestic-external political economy. Changes in the latter during
implementation of the Initiative may be beyond the control of individual
countries. This could have adverse impact on the expected outcome of
the scheme.
The goals of collaboration between donors, borrowing governments, and
civil society, moulded by ‘participatory’ ethos, offer hope of a more
democratic vehicle for consultation, dialogue, and feedback into devising
and practicing debt relief packages embracing local capacity and
desires. This, however, cannot be divorced from the context of the
political economy of a country prior to, during, and after implementing
the Initiative, and its effect on different groups of the poor and
vulnerable not only to articulate and voice their demands during
consultations but also influence and shape policies at the local and the
national level.
Recent criticisms of the Initiative have highlighted its slow delivery.
For instance, the three debtor nations which won billions of dollars in
debt relief did not have access to the latter for months.Thus, about $ 2.1
billion in total for Bolivia, Uganda, and Mauritania was meant to provide
extra cash to pay for health, education and other poverty reducing plans.
But this was held back until creditors sorted out how to pay their shares.
Such delays have aroused much concern about the effectiveness of the
enhanced version of the Initiative. Doubts are emerging about the ability
of the G7 countries to meet the debt relief promises announced at the
Cologne summit. This persists after the G7 summit in Japan in July
2000. Steps have been taken to reduce delays:for instance it is reported
that the US had pushed its partners to delay Uganda’s completion
point-the date when promises turn to cash- for a few months to ensure
that the money saved would be prudently used. The World Bank is also
cautious of taking action on debt forgiveness which might jeopardise its
credit rating and increase the costs of borrowing from other member
The leaders of the industrial nations acknowledge that the promises
made in Cologne to implement debt relief for the majority of countries
had fallen short of expectations: exemplified by the pronouncements at
the July 2000 G 8 summit in Japan. Leading NGO’s, moreover, continue
to question the basis of debt relief and the pressures on government
budgets to make debt repayments even after relief with adverse effects
for essential health and educational needs.[9] The debates continue to be
echoed while dissatisfaction over debt relief and globalization surface
at major international venues: the Annual IMF-World Bank meeting in
Prague in September 2000 against a background of demonstrations and
protests by activists in the city. World statesmen, too, such as Nelson
Mandela, the former President of South Africa, have emphasised the
urgency of ensuring that globalization does not marginalize the poor and
the vulnerable and that the fight against injustice and poverty should be
the major challenge in the new millennium.[10]
Debt relief has captured the imagination of international and domestic
policymakers and those who earnestly wish to urgently tackle poverty.
This has been the culmination of moves to resolve the debt crisis which
has plagued many developing countries stemming from over-optimistic
expectations of creditors and borrowers in an era of easy access to
money unrelated to the long term consequences of such behaviour. The
epoch exposed the inability of developing countries to cope with the
external burden of debts in the frame of vulnerable open economies
shaped by historical and political forces. This stressed the urgency of
major surgery to revamp basic economic relationships far beyond simple
measures to restore balance of payments equilibrium : establishing a
strong domestic/internal and external sector to firmly place such
countries on a path of sustained economic growth.
Structural adjustment policies aimed to restore balance of payments
equilibrium, stimulate growth, and eventually accommodate safety
measures to minimize adverse welfare effects of such thrusts, while
retaining firm belief in neo-liberal market based solutions to
development. The mixed results, controversies, and anxieties aroused by
such approaches have not diminished but keep re-surfacing against a
background of initial confidence, and subsequent doubts, about their
impact on long term growth and development. This should be seen in the
context of pressures to rapidly integrate developing countries, including
indebted, least developed, and marginalized ones, into a globalizing
Against this backdrop debt relief could be a major force in enabling the
transition of many developing countries from an indebted to a debt free
economy, reduction of basic poverty, and sustainable development- an
exit not from mere unsustainable debts but from unsustainable lives.
This vision is shared by the thinkers and the practitioners of debt relief
schemes but debtors still confront obstacles which could block the
laudable goals.
The origin, formulation, finance, conditionalities, and eventual delivery
of debt relief, have been modified to make delivery ‘faster, broader and
deeper’ in response to criticisms from inter-governmental, non
governmental, and other members of civil society. However, major
shortfalls have surfaced, including the basic motivations driving the
terms and conditions of acceptance and performance of potential
recipients based on severe conditionalities through strong stabilization
and adjustment policies, and the cumbersome stages in choosing the
most eligible coupled with the long term viability of such schemes,
without supporting measures, in lifting countries out of poverty. This can
ensure that they do not slip back into debts. In terms of concrete action
it is essential to analyse more fully the implications of debt repayments
for government budgets and essential public expenditure, such as health
and basic education, before and after debt relief, and whether
meaningful reduction in poverty can emerge.
Debt relief has the potential of establishing the basis for sustainable
development. The lessons from the controversies over adjustment
policies should be incorporated in future modifications to the Initiative
while the most urgent health and education problems need to be
overcome:old diseases such as malaria and new and major ones such as
HIV/AIDS.Account,too, should be taken of unexpected disasters, such
as floods and famines, which may retard and setback previous gains
reinforcing the need for swift delivery and the use of debt relief.
Policy makers should ensure co-ordination between domestic and
external policies to reinforce and build on the gains from debt relief:
acceleration of trade reforms to facilitate developing country exports,
relieving supply constraints, increasing aid flows, creation of conditions
to encourage inflows of FDI in relevant sectors, and boosting domestic
savings coupled with sectoral and human development
programmes.Unquestionably, such efforts need to be accompanied by
diplomatic moves to curb inter and intra state conflicts to create peace
and stability.[11]
1.The emergence of globalization has aroused critical and conflicting
debates on the future of the nation state ranging from its imminent
collapse to its continued importance, albeit in a revamped form, in
guiding policies. This cannot be divorced from minimizing post coldwar
rivalries and the emergence of new inter and intra state anxieties and
2. Debt relief strategies, apart from the basis, size, and allocation of
relief for specific poverty reduction programmes, need to be placed in
the context of the relationship between the external and the domestic
[internal] economy. This has critical implications for shaping integrated
policies on both fronts and ensuring that countries do not fall back into
debt and are able to retain and boost rates of growth.
Most international gatherings have emphasised the urgency of debt
relief and the need to incorporate it within long term policies.The United
Nations Millennium Summit in September 2000, the largest gathering of
world leaders, encompassed the future role of the United Nations in a
globalizing world with the goal of implementing three
‘freedoms’-freedom from want, freedom from fear, and freedom from
unsustainable environments; the first emphasises the provision of basic
needs and the urgency of debt relief. The July 2000 G7 meeting in Japan
of world leaders from the major industrial countries underlined the
importance of debt relief in the frame of globalization. This theme was
reified at the September 2000 Annual IMF-World Bank meeting in
Prague against a backdrop of rising oil import prices which could
exacerbate the balance of payments of indebted oil importing
developing nations. This heightens the urgency of implementing debt
relief. In a report in early October 2000, UNCTAD, United Nations
Conference on Trade and Development, emphasised that not only was
debt relief too late and too slow but that the magnitude was too little. It
urged rich countries to double their foreign aid, which had dropped by a
third over the past decade, and open up their markets for exports from
poor countries.
The problems of the indebted countries could be compounded by the
recent rise in oil import prices.
Tables 1 to 10 capture the nature of the relationship between the
external and the domestic economy in Africa focussed on the indebted
countries.This includes, first, indicators on the overall economic
condition, based on national income, the external sector, including the
nature of net resource flows, the structure of external debts, and
Foreign Direct Investment, and the domestic or the internal economy,
including aspects of basic needs, exemplified by health and education;
secondly, the execution of the HIPC Initiative, including the nature of
assessment, modifications, and relief granted to specific countries, are
3. Table 1 shows basic indicators on Sub Saharan Africa including the
HIPC. Inadequate rates of growth of exports result in inability to keep
pace with the mounting external debts. Most of the countries reveal low
or even negative rates of growth over 1986-96, with some exceptions
such as Mauritius, with ODA per capita per being critical.Indeed, out of
% of total average inflows ODA accounted for 90.6 % [1990-96] while
FDI accounted for only 5.8% ,although more recently the rate of inflow
of the former has been slowing down while that of the latter has been
rapidly increasing.
Table 2 shows the aggregate net resource flows into the HIPC over
1992-96 and in 1997 emphasising the dependence of countries on
official flows and a drop in the overall level, with some exceptions [eg
Uganda]; Table 3 uncovers the second position occupied by FDI,
although this has been growing, and the limited importance of private
flows [portfolio and bonds] with some exceptions [eg.Ivory Coast].
Table 3 reveals that over 1992-96, compared with 1987-91, FDI has
increased by 60% although this is lower than the inflow into all
developing countries marked by an increase of 189% . It also emerges
that over this period there was a sharp rise of FDI inflows into the
HIPC illustrated by an increase in Uganda from a negative to a sharp
positive growth by 19,796% , a 263% increase in Mozambique, and a
888% increase in Equatorial Guinea. This should take into account the
very low or even negative inflows in the base year. Such inflows show
the interaction between promises or actual debt relief and the inflows of
FDI into indebted countries and its significance for long term growth
for the economies. It should be stated that intra African trade have been
limited. This increased from 8.07 % over 1990-96 to 10.44 in 1997
with variations between different sub regions of Africa.
4.Tables 4 to 5 reveal critical features of African debts over
1990-1997: rising levels of total external debts, including short and long
term, the types of creditors to whom it is owed [ official, financial, and
private], and the burden of debts symbolized by various criteria of the
relationship between debt and export income and income. Table 5
reveals the specific debt problems confronting some of the major HIPC,
including Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia, and
that the bulk of the debts are owed to foreign creditors. External debts
clearly have adverse effects on the economy in terms of absorbing a
major share of the national income to service debts and diverting
resources from basic health and in the Ivory Coast debt
servicing as a % of GNP was 14.40 while that on education as a % of
GNP was a mere 1.50.
5.Tables 6 to 7 reveal the nature of the basic needs of health and
education which prevail in the HIPC. On health it is clear that life
expectancy is still relatively low, with significant levels of malnutrition;
mortality rates of those <5, and infant mortality rates have tended to
decline but the levels are still high. Education levels too show that
there is much scope of raising levels of literacy, including among those
in the 15-24 age group, and the need to increase levels of enrolment and
the years in school.. This should be seen against a background of
differences between countries, rising life expectancies, and dropping
mortality rates after 1960, when many African countries gained
independence, coupled with rising levels of literacy, and primary and
secondary school enrolment. But these indicators have tended to decline
after the 1980’s and in the early 1990’s in the context of rising external
indebtedness among African nations.
6.Tables 8 to 10 reveal the types of assessment under the HIPC Scheme,
the modifications which were introduced and the relief given to specific
countries. In essence, the combersome nature of the processing of debt
relief emerges and the significance of such support in terms of the
impact on reduction of debt ranging from 57% for Mozambique to only
6 % for Ivory Coast. The assessments are subject to continuous change
as more countries become eligible for debt relief.
7. See Tables 8-10 on the assessment of the HIPC Initiative and actual
and potential recipients.
8.See Table 6 on health indicators in the HIPC.
9.In a recent report, for instance, in September 2000, Oxfam, a leading
NGO, has argued that debt repayments continue to absorb a
disproportionate percentage of government revenues posing major
problems for meeting basic health and education needs. They call for
greater focus on ‘human needs’ rather than evaluating repayment
capacity on the basis of simple debt: export ratios.Oxfam suggests
that in 6 countries debt repayments absorbed over 40 % of government
revenues and that in all but 12 countries more was spent on debt
servicing than on health and primary education, and that it is advisable
not to spend more than 10 % of government revenues on debt servicing.
Analysts at Harvard have also argued that the debt burden falls heavily
on the budget and that the resource transfers from debt relief is not
adequate for basic health and education. Cancelling of old debts coupled
with a sharp increase in new loans is strongly recommended.See Centre
for International Development, Harvard University, 1999. China, a major
Asian developing country, has recently [ early October 2000]urged
at a major China-Africa summit in Beijing that developed nations cancel
the debts of African nations and as a gesture has cancelled debts of 1 $
billion owed by the latter to China. This may be an insignificant amount
out of the total debts of over $300 billion owed by Africa to developed
nations and multilateral bodies but China’s increasingly important role
in the global economy may inject fresh ideas into the debt relief debate.
10. This was stated by Nelson Mandela at the Labour Party Annual
Conference in Brighton in late October, 2000.
11.Debt relief,too, can be a major incentive for peace and
reconstruction- a point stressed by the British Chancellor of the
Population Land Area Gnp per Av annual Life School
[mid 1996] [thousand capita % growth Exp at birth enrolment
[millions] of sq km] dollars 1 986-96 Primary
1996 1995 1980
Africa 599.9 23628 481 -1 5 2 79
Faso 10.7 274 220 -0.1 49 1 8
d'Ivoire 14.3 318 620 -2 55 7 9
Ethiopia 58.1 1000 110 0.4 4 9 27
Mali 10.1 1220 240 0.1 50 26
Mauritania 2.3 1025 470 0.7 5 1 37
Mauritius 1.1 2 3690 4.9 71 9 4
Mozambique 16.6 784 90 3.2 47 99
Nigeria 114.4 911 240 1.7 53 1 05
South Africa 42.4 1221 3140 - 0.9 64 85
Tanzania 30.5 884 130 1.2 51 93
Uganda 19.7 200 290 3 42 5 0
TABLE 1 [continued]
School Total Net ODA Per Capita
Primary Secondary
1992-93 1980 1992-93 1995
Sub Saharan 73 13 25 31
Burkina 39 3 9 47
Cote d’Ivorie 69 19 25 87
Ethiopia 27 8 11 16 /
Mali 30 8 8 56
Mauritania 69 11 15 102
Mauritius 106 50 59 20
Mozambique 60 5 7 68
Nigeria 90 16 29 2
South Africa 115 0 77 9
Tanzania 70 3 5 30
Uganda 67 5 11 43
Source: Based on African Development Indicators, 1997.The World Bank.
[US$ million, unless otherwise indicated]
HIPC’s Aggregate net Foreign direct investment Portfolio equity
resource flows
Annual Annual Annual
average average average
1992-96 1997 1992-96 1997 1992-96 1997
HIPC’s 16, 473 14, 660 2,694 4,068 408 -20
Angola 757 247 262 350 0 0
Benin 216 150 5 3 0 0
Bolivia 786 1,248 246 530 0 0
Burkino 320 246 0 0 0 0
Burundi 225 108 1 1 0 0
Cameroon 409 171 13 45 0 0
Central 135 81 - 2 6 0 0
Chad 212 183 15 15 0 0
Congo Demo. 162 103 1 1 0 0
Congo Rep 188 211 5 9 0 0
Cote d’ Ivorie 685 -213 -15 50 8 1 8
Equatorial 131 33 110 20 0 0
Ethiopia 780 530 6 5 0 0
TABLE 2 [continued]
HIPC’s Aggregate net Foreign direct investment Portfolio equity
resource flows
Annual Annual Annual
average average average
1992-96 1997 1992-96 1997 1992-96 1997
Ghana 896 671 122 130 19 0 4 6
Guinea 326 263 10 1 0 0
Guinea Bissau 67 78 1 2 0 0
Guyana 145 298 96 90 0 0
Honduras 327 506 47 80 0 0
Kenya 317 73 11 20 9 12
Lao PDR 235 347 58 90 0 0
Liberia 112 93 14 15 0 0
Madagascar 275 792 12 14 0 0
Malawi 367 222 1 2 0 0
Mali 316 302 10 15 0 0
Mauritania 227 183 8 3 0 0
Mozambique 860 765 33 35 0 0
Myanmar 239 242 125 80 1 1 -2
Nicaragua 549 372 50 162 0 0
Niger 228 247 2 2 0 0
Rwanda 467 509 2 1 0 0
TABLE 2 [continued]
HIPC’s Aggregate net Foreign direct investment Portfolio equity
resource flows
Annual Annual Annual
average average average
1992-96 1997 1992-96 1997 1992-96 1997
Sao 37 17 0 0 0 0
Senegal 476 406 33 30 0 0
Sierre Leone 134 107 - 2 4 0 0
Somalia 423 75 1 0 0 0
Sudan 296 140 0 0 0 0
Tanzania 806 763 70 158 0 0
Togo 121 84 0 0 0 0
Uganda 611 722 78 180 0 0
Vietnam 1,562 2,621 910 1, 800 1 83 -9 4
Yemen ,Rep 469 271 301 5 0 0 0
Zambia 579 395 56 70 0 0
TABLE 2 [continued]
Private Flows Bank & Trade Official Flows [including
Bonds Related Lending grants]
Annual average Annual average Annual average
1992-96 1997 1992-96 1997 1992-96 1997
HIPC’s 74 -33 132 -333 13,174 10,977
Angola 0 0 185 -374 310 27 1
Benin 0 0 0 0 211 147
Bolivia 0 -3 19 213 521 508
Burkino Faso 0 0 0 0 320 2 46
Burundi 0 0 -1 0 226 107
Cameroon 0 0 -14 -29 410 15 5
Central African 0 0 0 0 137 7 6
Chad 0 0 0 0 197 168
Congo Dem.Rep 0 0 -1 0 16 1 102
Congo Rep. 0 0 35 0 148 20 2
Cote d’Ivorie 0 0 - 4 -436 68 8 1 54
Equatorial Guinea 0 0 0 0 2 2 13
Ethiopia 0 0 -47 23 821 501
Ghana 50 0 29 27 506 468
Guinea 0 0 -3 -24 319 286
Guinea Bissau 0 0 0 0 67 7 6
TABLE 2 [continued]
Private Flows Bank & Trade Official Flows [including
Bonds Related Lending grants]
Annual average Annual average Annual average
1992-96 1997 1992-96 1997 1 992-96 1997
Guyana 0 0 -8 -5 57 213
Honduras 25 -30 23 33 232 4 23
Kenya 0 0 -121 -119 418 16 0
LAO PDR 0 0 0 0 178 257
Liberia 0 0 0 0 98 78
Madagascar 0 0 -6 -1 268 7 79
Malawi 0 0 -9 -1 375 221
Mali 0 0 -1 0 306 287
Mauritania 0 0 4 -2 215 181
Mozambique 0 0 2 2 824 72 8
Myanmar 0 0 19 102 83 62
Nicaragua -2 0 -18 -16 519 2 26
Niger 0 0 -23 -14 249 259
Rwanda 0 0 0 0 465 508
Sao Tome & 0 0 0 0 37 17
Senegal 0 0 -16 14 459 362
Sierra Leone 0 0 -6 0 142 1 03
TABLE 2 [continued]
Private Flows Bank & Trade Official Flows [including
Bonds Related Lending grants]
Annual average Annual average A nnual average
1992-96 1997 1992-96 1997 1 992-96 1997
Somalia 0 0 0 0 423 75
Sudan 0 0 0 0 296 140
Tanzania 0 0 -1 -15 736 620
Togo 0 0 0 -6 121 90
Uganda 0 0 -11 -1 545 544
Vietnam 0 0 129 287 339 62 7
Yemen Rep 0 0 2 0 166 221
Zambia 0 0 -36 9 560 316
Source: Global Development Finance, The World Bank, 1999. Note: a =Grants
exclude technical cooperation grants.
[1987-91 & 1991-96]
[ millions of dollars & %]
Average FDI Inflows FDI Inflows Change
per year per $1000 [%]
Change GDP
1987-91 1992-96 [%] 1 987-91 1992-96
Africa 60.1 96.1 60 6.7 1 0.4 54
Average 212.1 61.3 189 8 .2 1 7.3 111
[all developing
Mozambique 9.2 33.3 263 6 .8 23. 5 247
Uganda -1.4 77.6 19796 -0. 1 15.9 18816
Equatorial 11.1 109.7 888 82.9 689.8 732
TABLE 3 [continued]
Ratio of FDI FDI Inflows Change [%]
Inflows to Gross per capita
Fixed Capital
Formation 1987-91 1992-9 6
1987-91 1992-96 [%]
Africa 3.3 5.9 77 5 7 39
Average 3.5 6.8 98 8 20 164
[all developing
Mozambique 1.2 3.6 201 1 2 2 28
Uganda -0.1 10.3 15175 0.0 4 16 672
Equatorial 30.2 285.2 845 3 2 2 82 778
Source: UNCTAD, Foreign Direct Investment in Africa, 1999.
[$ Billions]
1990 1994 1995 1996 1997*
Total 284.8 305 322.2 324.3 315.2
Short Term 34.5 49.5 57.9 63 50.9
Long Term 250.3 255.4 264.4 261.3 264.3
Total To
Official Credtors 193 225.6 232.7 232.4 223.6
Total To
Institutions 50.4 42 39.9 35 .1 2 7.3
Total To 41.3 37.4 49.6 56.8 64.2
Other Private
Ratio of Debt Service
Payments to Exports of
Goods & Services [%]:
Debt Service 26.3 22.3 18.7 19.4 21.7
Interest Payment 10.3 9.6 8.9 8 .6 9.6
Amortization Ratio 16 12.7 9 .7 10.8 12.1
Total Debt: GDP 62.5 66.7 60.2 55.7 50.9
Total Debts:Exports 231.8 249.2 227.6 211.6 194.2
of Goods & Services
Source: The African Economy, 1997.The African Development Bank. *=estimate
Gross national Total debt Total debt Total debt Foreign
product owed to foreign owed to the US repayments debt as %
[$ US billions] creditors [$ US millions] in 1997 of country’s
[$ US millions] [debt serv ice] economy
[$ US millions] [as % of
Burkina 2.60 1297 N/A 52 29
Cote d’ 10.20 15690 317.88 1 369 1 41
Ethiopia / 10078 89.21 99 1 31
Guinea 0.30 921 N /A 9.70 2 53
Mauritania 1.10 2453 6.60 114.0 1 69
Mozambique 2.40 5991.0 53.21 1 04.0 1 71
Tanzania 6.60 7177.0 36.76 1 61.0 72
Total for Region 210,632.0 8 568.16
TABLE 5 [continued]
Expenditure on Debt Service [as % of GNP] Expenditure
on Education [as % of G N P]
Burkino Faso 2.20 1.50
Cote d’ Ivorie 14.40 5
Ethiopia 1.60 4
Guinea Bissau 3.90 /
Mauritania 10.90 5.10
Mozambique 4.10 /
Tanzania 2.20 /
Source: based on Jubilee 2000, USA. The data is drawn from diverse sources including
The World Bank, The World Development Report, 1999, The World Bank, Global
Development Finance, 1999, The World Bank Data Base on Line, 1999, The
Department of the Treasury and the Office of Management and Budget, Report on
Debt and Scheduled Debt Service Owed to the US Government by Foreign Official
Obligations and US Government Guarantees of Private Loans to Foreign Official
Obligators as of December 31, 1996, Washington, DC.
HIPC Life Expectancy % Malnutrition Mortality Infant Mortality
Country At Birth Among Children Rate < 5 Per Rate [deaths per
1000 1000
live births]
1990 1997 %
Uganda 43 32 173 104 9 9 -5
Mozambique 45 47 183 150 1 35 -10
Bolivia 61 30 88 81 66 -19
Guyana 64 27 77 64 58 -9
Ivory Coast 54 24 137 95 87 - 8
Burkina Faso 46 33 171 10 5 99 -6
Mali 50 31 236 136 118 -13
Ethiopia 49 55 184 124 107 - 14
Average 52 34 148 / /
Minimum 37 17 49 / /
Maximum 69 47 263 /
TABLE 6 [continued]
HIPC Maternal Mortality Ratio [per 1000] Overall Index A f rican HIPC
Of Health Outcomes Stan dard
[ World Standard]
UGANDA 1200 -0.85 -0.50
MOZAMBIQUE 1500 -1.52 -1 .34
650 -0.1 1.89
GUYANA / / /
IVORY COAST 810 0.28 1 . 14
BURKINA FASO 930 -0.57 - 0 . 09
MALI 1200 -0.90 -0.51
ETHIOPIA 1400 -1.56 -1.33
AVERAGE H IPC 909 -0.22
MINIMUM 160 -1.88 1.99
MAXIMUM 1800 1.82 2.80
Source: Based on tables in the World Health Report, WHO, 1999 which in turn draws on
World Bank data.
Adult Primary School Survival rate Illiteracy rate of
illiteracy gross life to grade 4 15-24 year old [%]
rate [%] enrolment expectancy [%]
rate [%] [years] 1990 1997
Uganda 38 73 5.6 63 30 23
60 60 3.5 62 52 44
Bolivia 17 95 9.8 99 7 5
Guyana 2 94 9.5 / / /
Ivory Coast 60 69 5. 9 94 50 4 0
Burkina 81 38 2.9 87 76 70
Mali 69 35 2 73 56 42
Ethiopia 65 31 2.1 79 58 49
Average 43 77 6 76
Minimum 2 29 2 45
Maximum 86 135 9.8 99
TABLE 7 [Continued]
Progress Net enrolment Progress Overall index of A frican
[% change[ in primary [% change] Education H IPC
education Outcomes: stan dard
[world standard]
1990 1997
Uganda 3 / / / -0.46 0.03
2 47 40 2 -1.26 -1
Bolivia 9 / / / 0.97 1.59
Ivory 2 47 55 3 -0.17 0.32
Burkina 1 27 31 4 -1.41 -1.2 5
Mali 1 18 28 8 -1.72 /
Ethiopia 1 30 28 3 -1.52 -1.3 8
Average -0.27
Minimum -1.72 -1.64
Maximum 0.97 1.59
Source: Based on tables in the World Health Report, WHO, 1999 which in turn draws on
World Bank data.
NPV Debt:Export 250% 150%
NPV Debt:Revenue 280% 250%
Export:GDP 40% 30%
Revenue:GDP 15%
Decision Point 3 Years 3 Years
Fixed Completion Point 3 Years Replaced by Non -Fixed
Floating Completion Point
Cost of HIPC $12 Billion [NPV] $27 Billion [NPV]
Source:HIPC Website;N PV=Net Present Value
14 HIPC's 12 Qualify for Debt Relief 7
Packages Under Countries Have Agreed
Existing Framework on Debt Reduction
[$ 3.4 billion in N PV Terms
or $ 6.8 billion
in Debt Service Refo rm over
Ethiopia, Guinea Bissau, N icaragua, B enin, Senegal under New
Tanzania, Mauritania Framework will be
[Debt Relief to Ethiopia & Guinea re -considered /Debt
Bissau held back due to Sustainability through
armed conflict] Traditiona l Packages]
Ivory Coast,
Source:HIPC Website.Note this assessment is being constantly revised; by July 2000
more countries became eligible for debt relief.It is expected that by the close of 2000 about
20 countries will reach the D ecision Point.
Total % Reduction As sistance
Debt Relief in Debt in present value
Country Decision Completion nominal t erms at the
Point Point [millions of US dollars] Completion Point
[All Creditors] [IMF]
[millions of US] [millions o f
dollars] dollars]
Uganda April 1997 April 1998 650 2 0 3 47 69
Bolivia Sept.1997 Sept.1998 7 60 13 448 2 9
Burkina Sept.1997 Apr.2000 200 14 115 1 0
Guyana Dec.1997 early 1999 5 00 25 253 3 5
Cote d' March 1998 March 2001 8 00 6 3 45 2 3
Mozambique Apr.1998 June 1999 2900 5 7 1 442 105
Mali Sept.1998 Dec.1999 250 1 0 1 28 1 4
Total 6060 3078 285
Source: HIPC Internet Website
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