March 24, 2005

HIPC initiatives have failed poor countries, says Jubilee

Jubilee Zambia provincial outreach coordinator, Saul Banda, has stressed that the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiatives have failed Commonwealth countries. According to him, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank initiatives had not worked in Zambia because they were not aimed at improving the lives of the people. He said HIPC framework was a fraud and deplored moves by some politicians who misled many Zambians into believing that HIPC completion point meant an improved economy. He furthermore stressed that the US$3.8 billion relief expected after the March HIPC completion point would not be deposited in Government treasury as revenue, but would go towards debt servicing in a period of about 22 years as stated by the IMF and World Bank guidelines. Banda emphasised that donors preferred short-term plans so that low-income countries in Africa could continue servicing the total of US$523 billion. He also said that out of the total debt of US$523 billion, African countries alone had a debt stock of US$330 billion and still spent US$15 billion every year in debt servicing to rich countries and the international financial institutions. (The Post, Lusaka)

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